One person has been sentenced to death in connection with the murder of garment workers’ leader Aminul Islam.
The convict Mustafizur Rahman, 23, from Kadirpara Purbapara in Magura’s Sreepur upazila, was a garment worker and worked as a police source.
Tangail Special Judge Wahiduzzaman Sikdar gave the verdict in absentia around 11am on Sunday.
Mustafizur has been missing since the murder.
Aminul Islam, from Gazipur’s Kaliakair upazila, was a popular labour rights activist based in Ashulia. He was an organizer for Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity (BCWS) and the president of the Bangladesh Garment and Industrial Workers Federation.
After going missing on April 4, 2012, his mutilated body was found two days later in Ghatail.
The body was initially booked as unidentified and after an autopsy, he was buried at Tangail Central Graveyard. Police published ads in the newspaper seeking information on the man.
Aminul’s brother Rafiqul identified him from the ads and had his body reburied in the home village.
Ghatail police filed a murder case against persons unknown, and after an investigation, pressed charges against Mustafiz as the only accused.
Aminul had reported several threats before he went missing, according to the Human Rights Watch.
Public Prosecutor Multan Uddin of the Tangail Special and Sessions Judge Court said this was a sensational murder case.
“The murdered Aminul Islam was an activist for the rights of Ashulia workers. He was killed to prevent his activism,” he said.
The lawyer said 25 people had deposed as witnesses in this case.
“Justice has been served,” he said.
However, state-appointed counsel for Mustafiz, Golam Mostafa Miah, said the case had not proved the guilt of the convict.
“The court has convicted him wrongly and I hope that the verdict will be overturned in the higher court,” he said.
Convict Mustafizur was a police source
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Mustafizur Rahman, 23, convicted in the murder of labour leader Aminul Islam, is currently in hiding.
Native of Kadirpara (east) area of Sreepur upazila in Magura, He is the son of a local tailor.
Mustafiz used to work as a source for the Detective Branch of Ashulia police, and used to live in a rented flat in Ashulia, according to police.
Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) Executive Director Kalpana Akhtar said Mustafizur used to work in a Dhaka EPZ factory named Queen South Textile.
“Mustafizur often used to visit BCWS because of his work,” she told the Dhaka Tribune.
“On 2009, he was fired because of a workplace issue. Later, through legal aid, we helped him to get his job back. We learned about his work as a police source much later.”