Bangladesh hands death penalty to two for murdering blogger

Bangladeshi court sentences two of three people to death and five others to jail for death of secularist blogger

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Bangladeshi policemen in olive green uniforms, escort defendants, in civil dress, from a court after a verdict in Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 31, 2015

A Bangladeshi court in Dhaka announced on Thursday that a fast-track court in Dhaka ordered death penalty for two of three people who are charged with murder in the death of a secular blogger.

The Prosecutor Mahbubur Rahman said "Two students of North South University, Faisal bin Nayem and Rezwanul Azad Rana, were sentenced to death."

The court sentenced five other on lesser charges related to Haider's death.

Ahmed Rajib Haider a secular blogger who wrote blog posts mocking Islam and prophet Mohammed was hacked to death on February 15, 2013.

According to police, Haider, who was reportedly a campaigner for banning the Bangladeshi opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party, became the target of Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), the group suspected of being behind the attack, after he contributed to organizing a massive rally against Jamaat-e-Islami party.

In 2015, five more secular bloggers and a publisher have been killed, causing anti-government protests in Bangladesh, where several top Jamaat-e-Islami party leaders received death penalties for allegedly committing war crimes during country's independence war in 1971.

Bangladesh’s judicial system has been facing international criticism as several human rights groups claim that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is trying to eliminate political opponents from politics by using trials.

TRTWorld and agencies