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Bangladesh journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury charged with sedition

01/25/2004

(For further information about this case, and for information on how to contact officials and rights organizations, please see earlier log entries. )
Bangladesh journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, jailed without bail since November 29, has been charged with sedition. Choudhury was originally jailed for attempting to travel to Israel to give a talk about the role of the media in promoting peace. He was held on repeated remands for the maximum period allowed under Bangladesh law and has now been charged with sedition. Choudhoury is in poor health. He suffers from Glaucoma which has gone untreated.

The sedition charges are apparently related to Choudhury's outspoken stance against Islamist extremism, and his attacks on the media and the government for promoting fundamentalist views. The United States had urged Bangladesh to consider recognizing the State of Israel and Choudhury's campaign, and attempt to talk to a Tel-Aviv writers' conference sponsored by IFLAC, took place against the background of attempts to advocate recognition of Israel. Mr. Choudhury has also volunteered to open a branch of IFLAC in Bangladesh. IFLAC is an Israeli and international NGO that promotes dialogue on the basis of culture. Reports in Middle Eastern and Bandladesh media advanced the fantastic claim that IFLAC is a branch of the Israeli Mossad, and that Mr. Choudhury was engaged in espionage for Israel. These charges may also be brought against him.

Mr. Choudhury has written from jail to an Israeli foreign office official, Mr Ilan Flus, Director of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asking for Israeli help. However, this may not be a practical possibility. Israel has no diplomatic relations with Bangladesh, and any help coming from Israel may be viewed as "evidence" supporting the state case of "sedition" against him.

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000169.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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Replies: 7 comments

I have written to my USA congressional representatives. Please tell Mr. Choudhury he is not forgotten and admired for his bravery.

Posted by Karen @ 01/27/2004 10:29 PM CST

Mr Choudry you are definately not forgotten and I really admire you for your bravery and for what you are trying to do!

Posted by Laura Liben @ 01/31/2004 07:58 PM CST

Australian MP asks Bangladeshi government to release journalist imprisoned for attempting dialog
(see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JewsINOZ/message/1239 )

Hopefully, others will do the same.

Posted by Paul R @ 02/05/2004 08:31 AM CST

With respect and admiration for the courage you've shown in standing up for what is right.

Posted by Margo Spitz @ 02/07/2004 05:30 PM CST

WE DO ADMIRE YOUR COURAGE, TO STAND UP FOR PEACE, HOWEVER IT APPEARS THAT IN BANGLODESH IT IS AN OFFENCE TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.
A COUNTRY LIKE BANGLODESH HAS A LOT TO GAIN, FOR RECOGNIZING ISRAEL, SO IF ONLY FOR SELF INTEREST THEY SHOULD DO SO, OR IT IS ISLAM DICTATES WHOM TO HATE AND WHOM TO TOLERATE. BANGLODESH LIKE YOURSELF SHOULD SPEAK OUT FOR TOLERANCE.

Posted by FRED STEINER @ 02/08/2004 01:33 PM CST

Everyone knows that it is not easy to preach peace in an hostile area without awaited risks but braves men continue their steps in spite of the hostility and risks..My respect and admiration Salah, we will never forget you .

Posted by Abdelkader Amlou @ 02/08/2004 02:47 PM CST

Go to hell!! U traitor!!

Posted by Bushra @ 02/10/2004 12:16 PM CST


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