Dhaka, Jan 28: Five Islamic militants on death row
in Bangladesh have written to the President begging for mercy,
a jail official said on Sunday.
The leader of the outlawed Jamayetul Mujahideen
Bangladesh (JMB) Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command
Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and four others were
sentenced to death last May for the murder of two judges in
"Five of them including Rahman have written letters to
the President yesterday. We are treating the letters as mercy
petitions," Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Shamsul Haider
Siddiqui said he had not read the letters.
Authorities say the group was behind a wave of bombings
that was aimed at forcing the introduction of Islamic Law in
the secular but Muslim country of 144 million.
The attacks, which began in August 2005, left at least 28
people dead including four suicide bombers.
At the time of their sentencing, the condemned men said
they would not appeal, claiming they acted in the name of
Four later changed their minds and the authorities
treated letters from JMB leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman and
Siddiqul Islam as pleas for clemency.
The Supreme Court, however, refused permission for them
to appeal. The last option for all six is now a direct appeal
to the President.
A seventh man convicted and sentenced to death in the
case is on the run.