DHAKA: Bangladesh sentenced 20 university students to death on Wednesday for the 2019 murder of a young man who criticised the government on social media.The battered body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was...
DHAKA: Bangladesh sentenced 20 university students to death on Wednesday for the 2019 murder of a young man who criticised the government on social media.
The battered body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in his dormitory hours after he wrote a Facebook post slamming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for signing a water-sharing deal with India.
He was beaten with a cricket bat and other blunt objects for six hours by 25 fellow students who were members of the ruling Awami League’s student wing, the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).
"I am happy with the verdict," Fahad’s father Barkat Ullah told reporters outside court after the sentencing. "I hope the punishments will be served soon." The remaining five perpetrators were handed life terms.
All those given death sentences were between 20 and 22 years old at the time of the murder and attended the elite Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology alongside Fahad. Three of the defendants are still at large while the rest were in the courtroom.
Faruque Ahmed, a lawyer for some of the defendants, said the sentence would be appealed. "I am very disappointed at the verdict. It is not fair," he told AFP. "They are young men and some of the best students of the country. They were sentenced to death despite no proper evidence against some of them." Fahad had put up a post on Facebook that went viral hours before his death.