South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

July 8, Bangladesh ( The High Court has ruled against punishment of people by issuing fatwa in local arbitrations upon writ petitions
Delivering the judgment upon three separate Public Interest Litigation (PIL) writ petition, the bench of justices Syed Mahmud Hossain and Gobinda Chandra Thakur gave the verdict on Thursday. In the verdict the court directed the authorities concerned to take punitive action against the people involved in enforcing fatwa. The court also said, anyone involved, present, taking part or assisting any such conviction or execution would come under purview of the offences under the penal code and be subject to punishment. The opinion enclosed with the copy of the judgment said that the persons found involved with ordering, executing or assisting such extra-legal punishment will face criminal proceedings.
The same bench on May 24 ordered the government to explain why extra-judicial punishment in the name of fatwa and Islamic Sharia law would not be declared illegal and inhuman.

The petitions were filed by rights organisations — Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, BRAC Human Rights and Legal Services, and Nijera Kori. Later, Supreme Court lawyers Salauddin Dolon, Mahbub Shafiq, KM Hafizul Alam and Imranul Hai Sachib filed two more petitions on the same issue.
Barrister Sara Hossain, Barrister Mahmud Shafique and advocate Salauddin Dolon appeared for the PIL petitioners. At the hearing, Barrister Sara Hossain said, local religious leaders and socialites torture, harass and punish women in the name of fatwa, which cause incidents like injuries, killings and suicide.