A Bangladesh court on Tuesday sentenced 14 Islamic activists to death in the southwestern constituency of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for attempting to assassinate him in 2000. Judge Abu Zafar Mohammad Qamaruzzaman of the Dhaka Rapid-I Court a declared: “The firing squad will apply this decision to set a precedent, unless it is prohibited by law.”
Nine of them were brought from prison to court during the trial. Judge Kamaruzzamman said that if not, convicts could be hanged under the current practice of obtaining approval from the High Court section of the Supreme Court after a mandatory review of the death penalty under the Bangladesh law. All of these convicts are members of the banned Harkat-ul-Jihad Bangladesh.
The other five convicts are on the run and were tried in absentia and government-appointed lawyers defended them in accordance with the law. The judge said the verdict should be implemented after the fugitive convicts are arrested or surrendered. Activists from Harkat-ul-Jihad Bangladesh planted a 76 kg bomb on July 21, 2000 near a field in Kotlipada in southwest Gopalganj. There, Hasina was to address a campaign rally.