Botswana has no power to save drug mule accused from execution in Bangladesh

Lesedi Molapisi from Ramotswa in Botswana is facing drug trafficking charges in Bangladesh.

Lesedi Molapisi from Ramotswa in Botswana is facing drug trafficking charges in Bangladesh.

Published Feb 22, 2023


Rustenburg - Botswana has no power to change Bangladeshi laws to save its citizen, facing drug trafficking charges in the South Asian country.

Lesedi Molapisi, 30, of Ramotswa in Botswana, is facing possible execution in Bangladesh, she was arrested on arrival at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka in January.

She arrived on Qatar Airways flight from South Africa, which travelled via Doha.

According to a report in Mmegi, a national newspaper in Botswana, Foreign Affairs Minister Lemogang Kwape, Botswana could not bend Bangladeshi laws to save alleged drug mule Lesedi Molapisi.

Mmegi reported that Kwape told Botswana media on Tuesday, the government of Botswana delegation would soon visit Molapisi to check whether her rights have not been violated.

"We do not have power and authority over Bangladeshi laws same as we cannot let anyone to tell us how to run our country," the newspaper qouted Kwape.

The Botswana delegation was expected to ask the government of Bangladesh to put the death penalty off the table.

Molapisi was arrested on January 23 in 2022, after she was found allegedly in possession of over 3kg of a heroin-like substance in her luggage.

She is currently awaiting trial in a Dhaka prison.

Last year in November, her father, Shakwane Goitsimodimo Molapisi, told NewzroomAfrika that the trial against her daughter has not yet started.

She told the TV channel that she was communicating with her daughter via an intermediary, contracted by an African association in Bangladesh to assist her.

“The trial has not yet started, that is what I know.

“The last communication I had with her through those notes was last week.

“She appeared in court on November 14 for mention not trial,” her father told Newzroom Afrika.

He said his daughter did not know there were drugs in her luggage.

Molapisi said he managed to retrieve a letter from her daughter's luggage in Botswana, the letter was written from a Pretoria-based tour business to the Bangladashi requesting a business visa for Lesidi, so that she should be able to buy ready-made garment products in Bangladesh, Amir Hossain.

According to the letter which he read, the tour business offered to assist Lesedi in sourcing the ready-made garment products and provide accommodation for her in Bangladesh.

"This suggests that she might have been lured into this, because they promised that they will assist her to go and buy ready garments in Bangladesh so that she could sell here in Botswana.

“That is when she went to Bangladesh, she was arrested with the so-called illegal drug."

He said he had not been in contact with his daughter making it difficult for him to enquire from her what happened.

Molapisi said his unemployed daughter left home on January 16 and seven days letter they heard she was arrested in Bangladesh for possession of illegal drugs.

Bangladeshi English-language daily newspaper, New Age, reported that airport’s customs officials and an intelligence agency intercepted Molapisi while crossing the green channel, the passage for arriving passengers with no goods to declare.

After scanning her bag, the customs officials seized over 3kg of heroin-like granular substance.

According to Amnesty International, 579 executions were recorded in 18 countries in 2021, an increase of 20% from the 483 recorded in 2020.

Most known executions took place in China, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria.