Botswana Pledges Support in Drug Mule’s Death Sentence Appeal

Botswana Pledges Support in Drug Mule’s Death Sentence Appeal

Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has made a solemn commitment to support Lesedi Molapisi, a citizen facing a death sentence in Bangladesh for drug trafficking. This announcement follows the confirmation that the 32-year-old Molapisi was sentenced to death by a Bangladeshi court on Monday.

“I leave on a sombre note that a citizen of ours in a faraway land got into trouble and is faced with a very harsh reality of paying the hard price,” Masisi stated at a media briefing ahead of his departure for the JCK Show earlier today. He urged Batswana to keep Molapisi and her family in their prayers, expressing hope for a less severe punishment.

In a bold statement, President Masisi assured that the Government of Botswana would assist with her appeal if she chose to proceed. “What is left is an appeal. We will facilitate and provide counselling to the family. Provide some sort of financial support to enable the final appeal, as is led by the international human rights agency, Amnesty International,” he said.

Masisi emphasized the gravity of the death sentence, acknowledging the serious stance many Batswana have against the drug trade. “I must also remind you that even in our own consultation of the constitutional review, Batswana expressed a similar view to the country where she is being sentenced. There are some strong sentiments out there about involvement in the drug trade,” he noted.

Molapisi was arrested in January 2022 at Bangladesh’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport after being found in possession of over 3.145 kg of heroin. She had arrived on a Qatar Airways flight from South Africa via Doha, Qatar. According to the news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), a Dhaka court awarded Molapisi the death penalty, with the order passed by Additional Metropolitan Session Judge Md Aminul Islam.

President Masisi’s pledge highlights Botswana’s commitment to supporting its citizens abroad, even in dire circumstances. As Molapisi faces this daunting reality, the nation’s support and the efforts of international human rights organizations like Amnesty International will be crucial in her appeal process.

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