By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, Sep 14 (IANS) UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller have welcomed the first sentencing of three policemen and two others in the 2014 custodial death of Ishtiaque Ahmed Jony.
This is the first case and first sentencing under the Bangladesh Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act, 2013.
On September 9, the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court sentenced the three policemen to life imprisonment and the two informants to seven years in jail for the brutal torture and subsequent death of Jony, who was picked up from a wedding ceremony, in custody.
While passing the order, Judge KM Emrul Kayesh also fined each of the three policemen Tk 1 lakh each, in default of which they will serve six more months in jail.
The two others were fined Tk 20,000 each, in default of which they will serve three more months in jail.
Taking to Twitter, Ambassador Miller said: “Historic and significant verdict with first sentencing under Bangladesh Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act,” adding that accountability for all persons is critical to any rule of law system.
“Join UN in calling for end to torture, extrajudicial killings, and disappearances,” he added.
Seppo said the sentencing paved the way for other victims and their families to access justice, and for further reforms to eradicate torture, extrajudicial killings and disappearances.
The court recorded statements of 24 witnesses before fixing Wednesday to deliver the verdict.
The court also asked the three police officers to pay Tk 2 lakh each to the plaintiff of the case as compensation.
The court also mentioned, the trio will have to pay the compensation within 14 days, otherwise they will not be able to file an appeal against the verdict with the High Court.
The punishments of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender, court said.
While the three policemen are in jail, the two informants are still at large.