Two students sentenced to death in Bangladesh blogger's hacking death

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Dec. 31, 2015 at 1:45 PM
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DHAKA, Bangladesh, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Two students were sentenced to death on Thursday in the killing of Ahmed Rajib Haider, an atheist blogger who was hacked to death in the Bangladeshi capital city of Dhaka in 2013.

Six others were also convicted in the blogger's murder. Jashim Uddin Rahmani, the head of Ansarullah Bangla -- the group suspected in carrying out the attack -- was given a five-year sentence.

According to the court, Faisal bin Nayeem, one of the students sentenced to death, attacked Haider with a meat cleaver outside of the victim's home. The other student, Rezwanul Azad Rana, was sentenced in absentia.

The two students sentenced to death attended Bangladesh's North South University. Haider was among bloggers who called for the execution of Islamist leaders for crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Neither the victim's father nor the case prosecutor were happy with the punishment.

"I'm not happy with the verdict. I reject this verdict. Five of them confessed their involvement in the killing. But only two were given death sentence. How is it possible?", Mohammad Nazim Uddin, the victim's father, said, BBC News reports.

"I am not satisfied. The judge said it was a pre-planned murder. They should have been given harsher punishments," prosecutor Mahbubur Rahman said.

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