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'Canada has become a hub for murderers': Bangladesh Foreign Minister backs India

Yeah Alga doing the unsolicited bidding of Indians again, just to please Hasina.

Royal embarrassment, the both of them.

The diplomatic landscape is shifting. Following the heightened tensions between India and Canada due to the assassination of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, Bangladesh has now voiced its own grievances against Canada's extradition policies. At the heart of this controversy is Canada's refusal to extradite Noor Chowdhury, the self-confessed assassin of Bangladesh's founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

In an exclusive interview, Bangladesh's Foreign Minister, AK Abdul Momen, made a bold and direct claim: "Canada must not be a hub of all the murderers. The murderers can go to Canada and take shelter, and they can have a wonderful life while those they killed, their relatives are suffering." This sharp critique underscores a growing sentiment among nations that Canada's extradition stance, especially its abolitionist position against the death penalty, is becoming a protective shield for criminals.

Momen further elaborated on the issue of capital punishment, stating, "Our judiciary is very independent and the government cannot intervene in that. But, [Noor Chowdhury] has the scope for a life sentence. If he comes back to Bangladesh, both Noor Chowdhury and Rashid Chowdhury can ask for a mercy petition to the president of the country. And the President may grant them the mercy petition and change it from execution to life sentence."

The Foreign Minister's words also touch upon a broader, global concern: the potential misuse of human rights. "The concept of human rights is being abused by many people at many times. This is really unfortunate because this has become at times an excuse for some people to protect killers and murderers and terrorists," he emphasized.

The extradition politics between Canada and nations like Bangladesh and India are emblematic of a larger narrative. They underscore the challenges countries face in balancing international law, human rights, and national security. While Canada's stance is rooted in its commitment to human rights, it's increasingly perceived by its partners as a potential loophole for criminals and terrorists.

With Bangladesh's bold claim, the spotlight is now firmly on Canada's extradition policies. The unfolding events will not only shape bilateral relations but also set a precedent for how countries address the complex issue of extradition in a globalized world.

Read the full interview here:

Question: How do you see the recent India-Canada row and Bangladesh also has been facing similar issues with Canada regarding killers of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Could you elaborate?

Answer: We have a very good relationship with India and we have a good relationship with Canada. Both countries are friends. I don’t know the details of this issue between India and Canada but I know the issue we have with Canada.

As you mentioned his killer (Noor Chowdhury, Sheikh Mujib Rahman’s killer) is having a good life in Canada. He has been there. And we have been requesting Canadian government to send back self-confessed killer of Bangabandhu, the father of our nation. Unfortunately, Canada is not listening to us and they have come up with a variety of excuses. So, we also went to the Canadian court to understand what is the status since he is staying in Canada for a long time. We want to know whether he is a Canadian citizen or not.

So, we we started the case in the Canadian court, and the Honorable judges gave their verdict. They said that the Canadian government had no reason not to disclose his status, but yet the Canadian government is not telling us anything, neither sending (him back to Bangladesh). The only thing that tell us that they have a law that any individual if he is sent back to his own country, and if there is a capital punishment in that country, then as per their law, they cannot send that individual.

So we are saying that Canada’s government is a government of the rule of law, they believe in the legal system. Canada must not be a hub of all the murderers. The murderers can go to Canada and take shelter, and they can have wonderful life while those he killed, their relatives are suffering. So, we have been asking the Canadian government to deport them. They know it, but unfortunately, currently they don't even talk to us on this issue.

Question: Right. So for the benefit of our viewers, let's just talk about Noor Chowdhury’s case. Noor Chowdhury and Rashid Chowdhury are two people who had escaped after killing the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. One fled to the United States of America the other to Canada.

Noor Chowdhury is the one who is in Canada. He is now currently in his 70s but in terms of the conversations... Around 2019, there was some hope that the Canadians were listening and there could be some resolution. That did not really happen. Is capital punishment the only reason why you think Canada is not extraditing, or is that reluctance that you see within Canada in sending back these people who are wanted in other countries be it India or for that matter Bangladesh?

Answer: The problem with Canada is that they have one after another excuses and that's what is not understandable. They have the law, but law must not protect a killer murderer. Law must not protect these bad guys, but unfortunately, Canada is doing. It is very unfortunate that when the father of our nation was killed in 1975, we had military governments, one after the other, and those military governments not only rewarded these killers, they posted them in important missions, and in good jobs. The military government passed a law that you cannot sue the killers, so family members couldn’t sue the killers, the murderers. It took almost 21 years for the family members, particularly the current prime minister who is the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, had to fight for 21 years to come to power to change that rule. Only once that was repealed that we started the due process of the court against those guys who are the killers of the father of our nation, and have been convicted by the highest court in Bangladesh.

We have submitted all the details to the Canadian government that the process was fair, judicious and it followed all the procedures and they have the right to defend themselves. Unfortunately, these killers took shelter in Canada.

We have killers right now. One is sheltered in Canada, Noor Chowdhury, the other one is Rashid Chowdhury. These two killers are leading a good life, although their (the victims’) families are still suffering.

Question: In 2009, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh sentenced 11 convicts to death, five were hanged, but these are these are the ones who are still living a good life,like you said, What is the status of his citizenship? Is he a citizen of Canada? Why is Canada protecting him because he just went on a visitor's visa and has been extending that. Canada has not accorded him refugee status. So what's the status of Noor Chowdhury? And why aren't they really sending him back? Is it just because of capital punishment?

Answer: We don't know the status of Noor Chowdhury. To understand and find out the status, we submitted a case to the Canadian court. And it took us a couple of years, after that Canada’s honourable judges gave a verdict. They said the Canadian government is under no obligation not to disclose the status of Noor Chowdhury. Since then we have been requesting the Canadian government to tell us the status. Till now the Canadian government has been refusing to disclose the status in spite of the fact that their own court gave the judgement.

In the case of Rashid Chowdhury who is in USA, that's much clearer. Rashid Chowdhury got US asylum citizenship by submitting all false documents. Since he submitted all false documents, in USA there is a rule that if you get immigration by submitting all false documents, your case can be reviewed. So, we submitted a request to the US government that Rashid Chowdhury who submitted false documents is a murderer.

So, the US government has been reviewing his case. Right now it is with the Attorney General’s Office in USA, but it's taking too much time for the review. We hope that the US government will review it and will deport him to Bangladesh. And they did in the past. The US government sent another murderer, Mohiudeen, few years ago when they found out that he was murderer.

We hope that Rashid Chowdhury, who is also staying in USA; the US government will deport this guy to face justice.

Question: Is there room for the death sentence to be changed to life sentence for him to be extradited? And will Canada then agree with Bangladesh in the extradition?

Answer: Our judiciary is very independent and government cannot intervene in that. But, he has the scope for life sentence. If he comes back to Bangladesh, both Noor Chowdhury and Rashid Chowdhury, they can ask for a mercy petition to the president of the country. And the President may grant them the mercy petition and it change it from execution to life sentence. That is the President’s prerogative.

They have that privilege to do it. Canadian government knows about it too.

Question: Do you have any hopes from the Canadian administration from Trudeau Government?

Answer: I am an optimist and I always hope against hope. And I believe that one day Canadian government will change that rule because now Canada is becoming a hub of all the murderers from across the nation. I know if anybody is a murderer, they try to take shelter in Canada under varieties of false pretense, and in the process, Canada is becoming a hub of murderers.

Canada is a lovely country. It's a great country, but this particular law is affecting Canadian reputation. So, Canada should not allow killers, provide them a safe home in Canada.

Question: Now in all the intelligence sharing, we see a lot of cooperation between US and Canada, the United Kingdom, the five eyes allies and partners. Do you think they have aligned themselves and geared their entire intelligence sharing to the disadvantage of countries like Bangladesh and India?

Answer: You know, we have a very good relation with India. There have been some people who were taking shelter in Bangladesh and fighting to overthrow the Indian government or when separatist movement started. So when we caught them in Bangladesh, our judicial system tried them and then we handed over those criminals to India. And once they went back to India, India also completed the due process of law and they suffered a few years in prison, and eventually they got out of the prison and are leading a good life.

One was Chetia (Anup Chetia) who was a separatist leader. We sent him to India because we have good agreement and we don't encourage any terrorist in our country.

All countries together should have a policy that will not allow any terrorist on their soil. They should have zero tolerance towards terrorists and provide them safe homes.

Question: Do you think Canada, in the name of human rights, is ignoring the bigger concern of terrorism?

Answer: It is very sad indeed. The concept of human rights is being abused by many people at many times. This is really unfortunate because this has become at times an excuse for some people to protect killers and murderers and terrorists. That should change. And governments under the banner of human rights must not abuse this concept of human rights. Of course, he has his right but he got must go through the process of a judicial system.

Question: The fact that there are concerns that India and Bangladesh have with regards to terrorists. How much do you think Pakistan uses them against India and Bangladesh?

Answer: We believe that all assassins, all murderers, all terrorists must face due process of law. They should face justice. And all countries should cooperate. These are some fundamental things. In those fundamental things, all other small national interests should be overlooked.

Hence, we should all be together that any murderer or assassins or terrorists should face justice. Doesn't matter whether Pakistani or Indian or Bangladeshi or, Canadian. All terrorists must face justice.


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