17 March 2020, Tue

Mr. Azhar will file review plea against the latest verdict of the Appellate Division, he confirms

Jamaat Ameer demands immediate and unconditional release of ATM Azharul Islam

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Ameer Dr. Shafiqur Rahman has issued the following statement on 17 March 2020 demanding immediate unconditional release of Jamaat’s Assistant Secretary General ATM Azharul Islam.

“Assistant Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, ATM Azharul Islam has been remaining behind the bar for last 9 years. The government arrested him in September of 2011. He had been tortured physically and mentally in those days. Even he was produced before the court as shackled with iron chain. High Court granted him bail in 2012 and he was released subsequently. But while he was staying in home, the law enforcers cordoned his house. They set up CCTV in the surrounding area of his home and created an environment of panic and fear. Finally, he was arrested once again. They filed a false case of crimes against humanity against him.

International Crimes Tribunal sentenced him to death in that case. Immediately, he filed an appeal against the verdict in the appellate division. The Appellate Division also upheld the same verdict. The written version of the complete verdict published on 15 March last.

We are very worried and concerned as he has been sentenced to death based on the false testimony of the ruling party men. The statements of the prosecution witnesses are not credible at all. One witness said, he had seen the offence from a spot which is 7 kilometers away from place of occurrence. Another witness claimed to see the alleged offence from 3 kilometers away. A witness introduced himself as a classmate of Azharul Islam. But he got admitted in the Carmichael College in 1970. But Mr. Azharul Islam had left that college two years before his admission, in 1968. The inconsistencies and loopholes of these witnesses have raised question among the people, is there any logical reason to consider their statement as true and valid?

Actually, the government has been executing one after one Jamaat leaders in order to destroy the leadership of this organization. Apparently, ATM Azharul Islam is going to the latest victim of such conspiracy. He is a lawful citizen. He will file a review petition against the order of the appellate division. If the court ensures justice, his review would be granted and he would get acquittal inshallah.

We are urging the concerned authority to bring an end to their political vengeance and to release ATM Azharul Islam immediately and unconditionally. Besides, we are requesting all national and international human rights watchdogs, democratic nations, peaceful communities and the fellow countrymen to raise voice against the conspiracy of the government to murder this patriot leader.