11 December 2013
GENEVA – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on 10 December called for an eleventh-hour stay of execution for Abdul Quader Mollah, a Bangladeshi politician convicted of war crimes in a trial that did not meet stringent international standards for imposition of the death penalty.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has written to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, HE Sheikh Hasina, in a last-minute appeal to halt the execution.
In a statement last month, the High Commissioner urged the Government of Bangladesh not to proceed with the death penalty in cases before the International Crimes Tribunal, particularly given concerns about the fairness of the trials.
The United Nations opposes the imposition of the death penalty under any circumstance, even for the most serious international crimes.
Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs, on the independence of judges and lawyers, and on summary executions, have also called for the execution to be stayed.
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