Target: President Bangladesh Abdul Hamid
Goal: Revoke the death sentence for the 152 mutineers in Bangladesh
Force Change recently made a petition asking for 152 mutineers in Bangladesh to receive a fair and impartial retrial. Their first trial violated international standards, where authorities utilized torture as a way to get confessions and statements from their detainees. Some of these detainees even died while in custody. During the trial, the mutineers were tried en masse, instead of reviewing their actions individually. Now, as an act of revenge, the Bangladesh authorities are sentencing these mutineers to their deaths.
The mutiny which took place in 2009 involved the Bangladesh Rifles, which have been renamed as the Bangladesh Border Control. It is believed that the mutineers were growing furious over their high ranking officials; the lower ranking soldiers wanted more pay and higher privileges, their salaries were so low they couldn’t send their children to military-owned schools. Their resentment spiraled out of control and they took it out upon their superiors. They killed their officers, took hostages, and harmed family members related to the officers. The fighting and killings spread to the barracks, totaling 74 deaths. The mutiny ended after 33 hours of negotiations between the government.
When the mutineers were taken into custody, it is believed that possibly hundreds of them were tortured and punished. Methods of torture included deprivation of sleep, crushing of the testicles with pliers, inserting needles underneath the nails and electric shock. It should come as no surprise that some of these mutineers died while in custody. The detainees were also denied access to lawyers for weeks or months, and their confessions – which were received under torture – were used as evidence against them. All of these actions violate international standards.
While all human rights groups believe that the mutineers should be punished, the death sentence is a perversion of the legal system, especially when the mutineers weren’t given a fair trial. The death sentence is seen as a cruel, inhumane, and degrading punishment, and does nothing to deter crime. It is disturbing to see the Bangladesh government so willing to conduct mass murder. Sign this petition and revoke their death sentences.
Dear President Abdul Hamid,
It has come to my attention that 152 mutineers will be receiving the death sentence for their actions. While I understand that the mutineers should receive punishment for killing their own officers, I find the act of killing so many people to be disturbing, cruel and unjust. The death sentence has done nothing to deter crime in any country; if anything it strikes fear into the hearts of every human being. Human rights groups have asked for each one of these mutineers to be given a fair trial, and this hasn’t been done.
I see this as a huge violation of human rights and I wish for the death sentence to be revoked. The mutineers must have suffered a great injustice for them to kill their officers and a trial should have at minimum looked into this aspect. Instead, many activists, including myself, see this mass murder as the Bangladesh government enacting revenge upon their citizens. Again, I implore you to revoke this inhumane sentence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dodo via Wikimedia