Turkey expresses ‘sorrow’ over executions in Bangladesh
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AFP photoThe Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Nov. 22 that it felt “sorrow” over the execution of two opposition leaders in “brother Bangladesh,” calling for national reconciliation.
“Turkey, a country that abolished capital punishment, preserves its belief that execution is not a way to heal past wounds,” the ministry said in a press release.
Ankara has called on Dhaka to find, in lieu of capital punishment, a better way to reach national reconciliation.
Bangladesh on Nov. 21 hanged two well-known opposition figures convicted of war crimes during the country’s war of independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Bangladesh Jamaat e Islami’s Secretary General Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid and Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s high-ranking member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were executed shortly after President Abdul Hamid rejected their mercy petitions.
Both Mujahid and Chowdhury had denied the charges leveled against them.
This is the first time in Bangladesh’s history that two convicts are executed at the same time.
Mujahid was a senior leader of Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party and Chowdhury had been elected to parliament six times.
Bangladesh’s opposition parties and international organizations such as Human Rights Watch have expressed concerns about the accused not receiving a fair trial.
Bangladesh has accused the Pakistani army and its local collaborators of killing up to 3 million people during the 1971 war, as well as decimating entire villages and raping thousands of women.