Human Rights Advocate Questions Bangladeshi Woman’s Death Sentence

Jesmin Papri
151112-BD-deathsentence-620 Oishee Rahman reacts to receiving the death sentence for the murders of her parents, Nov. 12, 2015.

A Bangladesh human rights advocate is questioning the death sentence handed Thursday to a young woman on charges that she drugged and stabbed her parents to death in August 2013.

Questions arose about defendant Oishee Rahman’s age after her parents, Police Inspector Mahfuzur Rahman and his wife, Swapna, were killed in their apartment in Dhaka, according to bdnews24. A court-ordered medical examination of Oishee led doctors to conclude that she was nearly 19 years old at the time of the double-murder.

“The young girl was not a professional killer, her family and society did not provide proper education for her to grow up,” human rights advocate Salma Ali told BenarNews. “In that case, her family and society cannot avoid their responsibilities in this murder.”

Judge Syed Ahmed of Dhaka’s Third Speedy Trial Tribunal ruled that Oishee had planned the killings in advance in handing down the verdict and sentence in the case.

“Oishee murdered her father and mother,” the court ruled, according to a transcript of the proceedings. “Though she was drug addicted, at the time of murder[s], she was normal.”

Police discovered the blood-stained bodies of Oishee’s parents in a locked bathroom on Aug. 16, 2013. The teen turned herself in to police the next day, according to media reports.

Police charged Oishee with mixing sleeping pills into drinks consumed by her parents, and then stabbing her mother and father (in that order) after they fell unconscious. DNA of the two victims matched samples taken from Oishee’s blood-stained clothes.

Her uncle, Mohammad Mashiur Rahman Rubel, continued to support his niece after the verdict, claiming that someone else killed his brother and sister-in-law. He did not name the killer.

Oishee’s lawyer, Faruk Ahmed, said he would appeal the sentence to a higher court.

Ali agreed that the death sentence must be reviewed.

“We expect that the higher court to correct the sentence,” Ali said. “This incident shows us that our education system must be upgraded and drug controls should be tightened.”

An 11-year-old domestic worker continues to face charges in juvenile court that she abetted in the killings, while one of two men was convicted of the same charge and the other was acquitted.


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