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Canada wanted to send Noor Chowdhury back in 2006

11 August 2017 No Comment

by Sheikh Shahariar Zaman in Dhaka Tribune, August 10, 2017, at 11PM
Canada’s Immigration Court and Supreme Court had initially rejected Bangabandhu’s murderer Noor Chowdhury’s application for political asylum and wanted to send him back, but the then BNP government let the opportunity go by.
Canada even sent a letter in this regard to the Bangladesh government in 2006. But because of the BNP government’s lack of interest in the matter, Noor Chowdhury was able to take advantage of Canada’s pre-removal risk assessment clause to remain in Canada. Law Minister Anisul Huq, who is chief of the task force to extradite Bangabandhu’s murderers, told the Bangla Tribune.
“We lost that opportunity. We could have gotten him back by now. But they [the BNP] showed no effort to do so,” he said.
Noor Chowdhury’s political asylum was rejected, and he was asked to return to Bangladesh at the time when the case against him was under trial in the Supreme Court in Bangladesh. It was unclear whether he would receive a death sentence or not at that time.
According to diplomatic sources, the Canadian government returned Noor Chowdhury’s diplomatic passport to the Bangladesh embassy in Ottawa in 2006. They also expressed interest in returning Noor Chowdhury to Bangladesh. But Noor Chowdhury took advantage of the Bangladeshi government’s inaction to seek counsel from immigration lawyer Barbara Jackson, and appealed to Canada’s attorney general’s office in mid-2007 to prevent his extradition to Bangladesh.
Noor is currently residing in Canada under the protection of the ‘pre-removal risk assessment’ law. His appeal stated that he would be sentenced to death if he returned. However, the Canada attorney general’s office has yet to rule on his petition. According to Canadian law, victims of death sentences are not returned to their home countries.
The law minister said: “Today Noor Chowdhury has received a deportation order, but the Canadian government is saying that he will be hanged if he is returned, so we will not return him.”
The minister also said that the FIR for Bangabandhu’s murder was filed in 1996, and the full trial on the case was finished in 2009. If the case had not taken so long to resolve, then it would have been much easier to extradite the murderers since the countries who oppose the death sentence now did not oppose it then.
Another of Bangabandhu’s murderers, AKM Mohiuddin was brought back by the caretaker government in 2007 after his political asylum application was rejected by the US. His death sentence was carried out at a later time.
Rashed Chowdhury
The law minister said that Rashed Chowdhury, another of Bangabandhu’s murderers, is currently in political asylum in the US. Mentioning that talks to bring back Rashed Chowdhury had begun after the current government took power, he said: “I can say that there has been significant progress in that discussion.”
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters on Tuesday that the national task force had conducted a meeting last month to discuss the extradition of Bangabandhu’s murderers. The current state of the murderers were also discussed during the meeting.
On condition of anonymity, a government official said that Rashed Chowdhury’s extradition was being discussed with the US amongst other things. He also said that the issue was discussed in Washington in 2014 with the US foreign secretary. It was also brought up the year after in talks between Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali and US Foreign Minister John Kerry.
Bangladesh government then hired New York-based law firm Skadden LLP to bring back Rashed Chowdhury. Former US president Barack Obama’s former law consultant Gregory Craig is supervising the firm’s efforts to extradite Rashed.
The government official also said that Foreign Minister Mahmud Ali sent a formal letter to the US law ministry requesting extradition of Rashed Chowdhury. Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque also repeated the request during his meeting with the American president’s Deputy Assistant Secretary and the American National Security Council’s Senior Director Lisa Curtis last June.
Abdur Rashid
A different government official confirmed that one of Bangabandhu’s murderers, Abdur Rashid is currently in Pakistan. The Bangladesh government had sent a letter to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry after receiving tips from multiple sources. However, Pakistan has yet to respond to the letter.
Shariful Haque Dalim
A government official said that Shariful Haque Dalim, another accused in Bangabandhu’s murder, had been said to be living in Pakistan, Kenya, Libya and even Europe according to various unconfirmed tips received by the government. According to the latest information, he was said to be currently residing in Spain.
Moslem Uddin
The government was made aware of another of Bangabandhu’s murderers, Moslem Uddin’s residing in Germany. The government official said that the government was currently in talks with the German Foreign Ministry on this issue, and that they had requested more information on Moslem Uddin from Bangladesh.
The government currently has no leads on the location of Abdul Majed. The law minister said: “The government will make all efforts to uphold the Supreme Court’s ruling. We will keep on trying as long as the ruling is not fulfilled. The BNP government gave diplomatic service jobs to Bangabandhu’s killers. The Ershad government then gave them promotions.”http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/foreign-affairs/2017/08/10/canada-wanted-send-noor-chowdhury-back-2006/

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