US government calls for halt to Kamaruzzaman execution

In a move that I would gauge will be far from popular amongst many/most in Bangladesh, the United States has called for a halt to the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami leader Kamaruzzaman. It did so through a statement given by its Ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice, Stephen Rapp a couple of hours ago.The key part of Rapp’s statement, given in a conference call to myself (as a New Age reporter) and a reporter from the biggest newspaper in Bangladesh, Prothom Alo, is as follows:

‘As I said during my fifth visit to Bangladesh in August 2013, we have seen some progress, but still believe that further improvements to the International Crimes Tribunal process could ensure these proceedings meet domestic and international obligations. Until these obligations can be shown to have been met, it is best not to proceed with executions given the irreversibility of a death sentence.’

I have written a short article for New Age which includes further comments given by Ambassador Rapp, and will link to it when it comes up on the website. I will also provide further details about what he said later in the day.

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