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Pro-peace journalist land arrested in Bangladesh
Released on = April 11, 2006, 9:54 pm
Press Release Author = Magna News & Feature Service Inc
Industry = Media
Press Release Summary = Internationally known Bangladeshi journalist, columnist, peace activist and editor of Weekly Blitz Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is allowed by Bangladesh government to leave the country, which he terms as land arrest.
Press Release Body = Internationally known Bangladeshi journalist, columnist, peace activist and editor of Weekly Blitz Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is allowed by Bangladesh government to leave the country, which he terms as land arrest. Choudhury was arrested in November 29, 2003 when he was supposed to depart for attending a symposium organized by Hebrew Writers Association in Tel Aviv, Israel. He would be the first man to attend any such event in Israel from the country. Later Bangladesh government brought sedition charge against him for his anti Islamist radical writings and statements as well for advocating diplomatic relations between Israel and his country as well for confronting religious hatred against Jews and Christians. Choudhury was severely tortured for 10 consecutive days in remand by Joint Interrogation Cell. He languished in Bangladeshi prison for 17 months, where authorities refused to provide him medical treatment for his ophthalmic complications. Later on April 30, 2005, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury was released on bail, while the false sedition charge is scheduled to go into trial this month at the Metropolitan Session Judge's court in Dhaka. US Congressmen Mark Steven Kirk, Joseph Crowley and Peter King wrote a joint letter to Bangladesh government o 28th February asking to immediately withdraw the false sedition charge, return Choudhury's passport and seized possessions as well end his continued harassment. Bangladesh government did not pay any heed to the letter from US Congress, while they are proceeding with the trial. Choudhury's passport was also not return yet although he is scheduled to attend the centennial conference of American Jewish Committee (AJC) to receive prestigious Moral Courage Award in Washington. World figures like UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, US President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Australian Prime Minister and other world dignitaries will attend the conference. Meanwhile New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also issued a statement this month asking Bangladesh government to drop the false sedition charge and return Choudhury's passport. Expressing annoyance, counsel for Shoaib Choudhury, advocate S.N. Goswami said, the sedition charge has no valid ground and his clients was barred from leaving the country to attend the conference of AJC, which he terms as 'land arrest' by Bangladesh authorities. He said, Shoaib was also not allowed by Bangladesh government to attend the annual meeting of PENUSA to receive Freedom to Write Award, which was given to him last year in Los Angeles. Angry Goswami said, people in the world has heard of house arrest of Myanmar's democratic movement leader Aung Sung Su Ki, but this time they will know about the land arrest of internationally acclaimed peace activist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury in Bangladesh. Expressing serious concern at Shoaib's land arrest, a close ally and Jewish brother of Choudhury in United States, Dr. Richard L. Benkin said, it is extremely surprising to witness that Bangladesh government did not pay any heed to the urge of international community including esteemed members of American Congress to drop the false sedition charge, return Shoaib's passport and possessions and end continued harassment. He said, Shoaib is the bravest man in the Muslim world, who has the guts and courage to confront religious hatred, Islamist radicals and advocate diplomatic relations between Israel and Bangladesh and other Muslim nations. Dr. Benkin called upon the international community to pay attention to this case and extend their support to repressed Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. Presently Shoaib runs a popular tabloid weekly Blitz from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Blitz is known as the most courageous newspaper in the country for its bold stand against Islamists radicals and for openly supporting relations between Israel and Bangladesh as well confronting religious hatred.' He said, Bangladesh government is hesitant is withdrawing the false sedition charge as well return Shoaib passport fearing adverse reaction from the extremist Islamist radical partners in the present alliance government as well active Islamist radical groups in the country.
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