WASHINGTON (June 5, 2007)—Bishop Thomas G. Wenski has asked the Department of Homeland Security to intervene on behalf of a Bangladeshi man, Mohuiddin A.K.M. Ahmed, who faces almost certain death if deported to Bangladesh.
In a letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, Bishop Wenski said the case of Mr. Din Ahmed, as he is generally referred to, is well known to the Department. "I am not in a position to make a judgment as to his guilt or innocence, but two things are clear, "Bishop Wenski wrote. "Responsible people are raising serious questions regarding his case, and if returned to Bangladesh, he will face the death penalty."
Bishop Wenski is Chairman, Committee on International Policy, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Din Ahmed graduated from Dhaka University in 1965 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the East Pakistan Army. He later served as a Bangladeshi diplomat under successive governments. In 1996, Din, along with other former military officers, was accused of involvement in the 1975 murder of the Bangladesh Prime Minister during a coup. Din, who denied the charges, remained in California on his diplomatic passport and applied in vain for asylum in the United States. He has asked the United States to deport him to Canada where he has family.
Bishop Wenski noted that a bill has been introduced in Congress seeking relief for Din and that fifteen U.S. Senators have written to the Department of Homeland Security expressing concerns about the deportation.
"I respectfully request that the Department of Homeland Security act immediately to prevent a possible miscarriage of justice that deportation of Din Ahmed to Bangladesh would represent," Bishop Wenski wrote. "The Catholic Church rejects the use of the death penalty because there are alternative means of protecting society. Our of respect for the sanctity of human life, I ask that Mr. Din Ahmed not be deported."