Turkey recalls ambassador to Bangladesh over execution of Islamist leader convicted of war crimes

Published May 12th, 2016 - 11:30 GMT
Pakistani students shout slogans during a protest against the execution of the leader of Bangladesh's top Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, Motiur Rahman Nizami, in Karachi on May 11, 2016. (AFP/Rizwan Tabassum)
Pakistani students shout slogans during a protest against the execution of the leader of Bangladesh's top Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, Motiur Rahman Nizami, in Karachi on May 11, 2016. (AFP/Rizwan Tabassum)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday announced that Turkey had recalled its ambassador to Bangladesh, following the execution of an Islamist party leader earlier this week on conviction of genocide and other war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence, Reuters reported.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged in Bangladesh on Wednesday for genocide, rape, and organizing the massacre of intellectuals during the war.

Human rights groups have said the tribunal procedures that sentenced Nizami were not up to international standards - a charge the Bangladeshi government rejects. 

Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division at the Human Rights Watch, told Al Jazeera that the trial was neither free nor fair. “For example, Nizami was allowed to have only four defense witnesses as a man fighting for his life. And the court did not allow defense to challenge the inconsistencies in the testimonies of prosecution witnesses," Robertson said.

The execution comes amid a surge of violence in Bangladesh targeting atheists, academics, foreign aid workers, and religious minorities.

Last month alone, five people, including two university professors, two gay rights activists, and a Hindu, were hacked to death.


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