The Muslim Council of Britain adds its voice in condemning the execution of a Bangladesh opposition leader, Abdul Quader Molla, on Thursday 11 December. The Bangladesh government has defied calls from the international community to act justly.
The United Nations made a last ditch attempt to call a halt to the execution. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International condemned this state murder, others, such as Human Rights Watch, criticised the trial of Mr Mollah that led to his execution.
And in Britain, the Foreign Office Minister Sayeeda Warsi had urged the Bangladesh government not to proceed. Baroness Warsi was joined by shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander. Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB said:
â€œIt is a sad day for Bangladesh and sad day for democracy and justice. The trial process of Abdul Quader Molla was fraught with flaws and the international community including the UN and all respected Human Rights organisations world over strongly criticised the trial as unfair, biased and politically driven.â€
â€œMany British Bangladeshi Muslims still have ties to that country and there is deep unease that this act will propel Bangladesh, a country of some 155 million, into further instability at best, anarchy at worst.â€
â€œBangladesh has a proud tradition of religious pluralism. We call on all Bangladeshis to exercise dignity and wisdom to preserve this pluralism following this unjust execution.â€
â€œAbdul Quader Mollah was tried for crimes committed during Bangladeshâ€™s war of independence in 1971. We agree that those guilty of such crimes should be brought to book. However, Mr Mollah vehemently contested the charges put to him, and he was not allowed to properly defend himself in an open and transparent judicial process, supervised by international jurists.â€
â€œWe now have a situation where there will be more bereaved families, more impunity and more unanswered questions for justice.â€
The Muslim Council of Britain expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Abdul Quader Molla and call on the British government to urgently review its relationships with the Bangladeshi authorities. These include a review of aid delivered to Bangladesh, and a review of Bangladeshâ€™s position within the Commonwealth.