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Human rights body demands inquiry as 8 Bangladeshis beheaded in Saudi Arabia

10-11-2011 19:04 BJT

DHAKA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- A human rights body Tuesday filed a writ petition seeking directive from a High Court Division bench of Bangladesh for an inquiry report within 2 weeks on what steps the country's diplomats in Saudi Arabia took to save lives of 8 Bangladeshis beheaded in Riyadh Friday.

The Muslim kingdom executed 8 Bangladeshi nationals Friday, on charges of killing an Egyptian security guard while committing a robbery in Riyadh about four years ago, turning down Dhaka's clemency appeal amid outcry from human rights groups at home and abroad.

The local human rights body -- Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) -- prayed to the bench to direct the country's foreign and labor secretaries to form separate committees to probe Bangladesh mission officials' roles in protecting the lives of 8 Bangladeshis, who went to the Gulf state as blue collar workers.

The High Court Division bench fixed Wednesday for hearing on the petition, which was filed as a public interest litigation.

However, the Saudi ambassador in Bangladesh, Abdullah Al Bussairy, has defended the execution of 8 Bangladeshi nationals, saying, "All legal procedures were followed to ensure that the trial was fair and transparent."

All the defendants were given legal assistance and enough time to argue their case during the four-year trial, Bussairy told reporters at a media briefing Monday.

The envoy said under the sharia law (religious law of Islam), practiced in Saudi Arabia, only a victim's family can forgive an accused in exchange for blood money. He said the Egyptian victim's family denied to accept the blood money despite repeated efforts by the Bangladeshi embassy.

Bangladesh-Saudi relations are deep rooted and such an incident would no way affect their bilateral ties, he added.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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