20 former students sentenced to death for brutal murder on campus — Analysis
For murdering another student at campus, twenty young Bangladeshi men were sentenced to death. The crime was committed after the victim had criticized government via social media. Five more defendants were sentenced to prison for their crimes.
20 of the defendants received death sentences. Five others were placed behind bars, while another five had to pay $583 each.
Those sentenced to death ranged from 20 to 22 years old and attended the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in the country’s capital Dhaka, when the murder happened in 2019. Newspaper The Daily Star reported that three of the victims are still at large, and they were all convicted in absentia.
Abrar Farhad, second-year student in electrical engineering, was found dead from a fall on the stairs of a dorm. The prosecution claims that he was beat for six hours with a bat cricket and other blunt items by his classmates.
Bangladeshi media claimed that Fahad had been attacked for posting a critique on Facebook about the government’s water-sharing agreement with India. The student reportedly argued that the agreement about the Feni River was against Bangladesh’s interests.
According to reports, the attackers had been students of Awami Liga (AL), which is a prominent political party in India. The case involved all of the defendants, and they were expelled entirely from university.
Fahad’s brutal murder sparked protests on campuses across the country. The media reported that eight of the accused gave confessional statements during the trial.
According to court records, the death penalty and life sentence were selected in order to prevent such crimes from happening again. “I am happy with the verdict,” Fahad’s father Barkat Ullah told reporters outside court. “Abrar’s soul will be at peace if the verdict is enforced quickly.”