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Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Presidential Pardon

Zillur too merciful

President Zillur Rahman in the three years from 2009 granted clemency to 21 persons sentenced to death in different cases, Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir told parliament yesterday.

Four others awarded death penalty in different cases got presidential mercy during the period 1972 to 2008, he said replying to lawmakers' queries.

The minister, however, did not name the presidents who had pardoned these four.

The incumbent president pardoned one convict on death row in 2009, 18 in 2010 and two in 2011, the minister said.

In 2008, the then president granted clemency to one death row convict and two others in 2005. Another condemned person got presidential pardon in1987.

Article 49 of the constitution says, “The president shall have power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites and to remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority."

In July 2011, Biplob, son of Abu Taher, an Awami League leader and mayor of Laxmipur municipality, was pardoned by the president in advocate Nurul Islam murder case, in which he was given death sentence.

Biplob was convicted in absentia in three cases. After being on the run for more than 10 years, he surrendered before a court on April 6 last year. His father then filed mercy petitions with the president, following which the latter granted clemency to Biplob in the Nurul Islam murder case last year.

In a case for the killing of Natore Jubo Dal leader Sabbir Ahmed Gama, the president in late 2010 pardoned 20 death row convicts, media reports said.

One of the condemned killers in this case was not pardoned as he was on the run.

Meanwhile, President Zillur Rahman's grant of mercy drew sharp criticism from different quarters, including rights groups, legal experts and the media.

Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Mizanur Rahman reacted sharply to granting of presidential pardon, saying, the nation must come out of this culture.

“A convict in a criminal case should in no way be forgiven,” he said at a programme of the Cox's Bazar district administration on February 26 this year.

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President Zillur Rahman's period in office will long be remembered for his ill judgment in granting mercy to convicted murderers and felons. Such obnoxious decisions on the part of the President of the Republic is a terribly bad signal to all offenders of the ruling Awami League. The health of the nation cannot be good with criminals around, and which is now the case. God save us all.

: Reaz Hassan

What a news! Only for AL, another controversy from a highly constitutional post. A killing is nothing for BCL, JL. Because if they kill some innocent people, they will get clemency from President.

: jahangir


  • Anonymous
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 03:13 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    President has shown mercy only to Awami League criminals and not any other person. He should be impartial and neutral as president. He is the President and not Awami League member.

  • Ashraful Alam
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 03:50 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    This story does not reveal all sides. In Natore Jubo Dal murder case heavily BNP-Jamaat influenced court summarily issued death penalty to 21 opposition party leaders and workers for the death of one person where only one bullet caused the death. It was a travesty of justice and unprecedented in Bangladesh's history. All those convicted already spent many years in prison in gruesome conditions. In the same location BNP Jamaati thugs murdered a few high profile AL leaders, but were never convicted of anything. The bottom line is both top parties are playing partisan games, but do not always blame one. So far in this govt. tenure none of the opposition meetings were attacked by grenade like it happened on 21 Aug, 2004 during BNP-Jamaat's rule.

  • dr islam
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 04:36 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    We expect our President will show this mega hearted gesture to all its citizens of Bangladesh, not only confined to few convicted party criminals who may harm the society after getting new life.

  • M. Ashraf
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 06:12 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    It's going to very ironical if the president or his family members get affected by the very people and degenerates that he has released back into our society.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 07:26 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    In our present political culture no president is impartial so all the clemencies are politically biased. Surely if the accused were of BNP or other political organ, they would not have got this clemency from the president. Where is the justice in our country? If the president shows mercy to the criminal, where the victim and the general people will go. The president has proved that any one can do any crime and if he is affiliated with the ruling party, he is sure to get mercy and our honourable president will not think for the victim family. But I am doubtful whether the president will get clemency from the almighty doing this mischief in the final judgment day.

  • Fyzul Hakim Khan
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 09:28 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    President Jilur Rahman acts as AL agent. It was not expected.

  • Dr. Nazmul Haq
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 09:51 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    Has not the president lost his high moral ground when he seeks justice for the murder of his wife, when he has pardoned double murderer on political consideration?

  • Dr. Ahsan Habib USA
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:10 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    In USA President Clinton pardoned billionaire Marc Rich who was staying in Europe. There was tremendous protest and Clinton explained his pardon in an article in NY Times and in other venues. We quote USA whenever it suits the government. Will our President explain his pardon in a published article?

  • Shekhar Dev
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 11:34 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    President has the right for clemency.But it is not mercifulness to pardon a real criminal.

  • An Observer
    Thursday, November 15, 2012 01:22 AM GMT+06:00 (169 weeks ago)

    The merciful president has 'Ocean of Mercy' for ruling AL men and their relatives.





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