Bangladesh urged Canada on Tuesday to find an alternative way to return the convicted killer of the country's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as current Canadian law prohibits such a return.
Law Minister Anisul Huq told reporters in Dhaka after meeting with Canadian High Commissioner Lilly Nicholls, who paid a courtesy call at the Bangladesh Secretariat, that he brought up the issue and asked her to find alternative means of extraditing Nur Chowdhury, who was found guilty by the country's court of being responsible for Rahman's assassination.
Chowdhury has been living in Canada for nearly three decades, and current Canadian law restricts sending back convicts, primarily to countries where death sentences are carried out.
“I told Canadian envoy that harboring a murderer is a violation of human rights,” the minister was quoted as saying in a statement released following the meeting by the Law Ministry.
Nicholls informed Huq that it is not possible to return Chowdhury under her country's current law, said the statement.
The high commissioner pledged to report the matter to her government, it added.
For a long time, the Bangladesh government has been trying to bring back Rahman's killers, who have been hiding out in Canada and the US.
On Sept. 30, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina slammed the US for sheltering another convicted killer of her father and the country’s founding leader, in a public speech for her party Awami League’s US chapter in Virginia state.
She demanded the return of fugitive MA Rashed Chowdhury, who, like Nur Chowdhury, was sentenced to death by the country's court. Chowdhury and his family have been in the US since 1996.
Rahman, along with most of his family members, was assassinated on Aug. 15, 1975, by a group of army personnel who blamed him for destroying democracy and establishing a one-party-led autocratic rule in the country, which was contrary to the spirit of the 1971 Liberation War.
Five of the 12 condemned convicts in the founding leader’s assassination case were executed on Jan. 27, 2010, a year after the Awami League-led alliance government retook power.