MideastWeb Middle East Web Log
Those who have been with MidEastWeb for a while know the case of Salahuddin Shoaib Choudhury only too well. Salah is the Bangladesh journalist who was one of the first to warn about the rise of Islamist radicalism in Bangladesh, explaining how it was carefully incubated in Madrassahs and encouraged by corrupt authorities. The world was surprised when bombs began going off all over Dhakka some time later, but Salah was not surprised at all.
Speaking out against radical Islamism and advocating dialogue and diplomatic relations with Israel are apparently "crimes" punishable by death in Bangladesh. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is on trial for sedition, a capital offence, because of those stands. His trial begins October 12. Believe it or not, the story is even worse than that.
When the US pressed Bangladesh to recognize Israel, Salah supported the move through his newspapers. He established contact with an Israeli dialogue group, IFLAC, and attempted to come to Israel to talk about encouraging dialogue through the media. He was arrested at the airport in November, 2003 as he was about to board a flight for Israel. He began living a Kafkaeseque nightmare that has continued for three years. Salah wrote several letters from jail describing the conditions and his failing health. He was charged with sedition, and with a passport offence for attempted travel to Israel. The Arab world press generated outrageous rumors insisting that Salah was an agent of the Israeli Mossad intelligence organization. Pressure from US officials and the House of Rrepresentatives ultimately obtained his release on bail after he had served much longer jail time than the passport offence penalty would have required.
Salah was convinced that the sedition charges would be dropped, but that was not to be. The case has dragged on and on as the government sought to fabricate a case for sedition. The office of his newspaper was recently bombed and Salah was badly beaten by a mob. It seems that getting beaten up and having your office trashed is also against the law in Bangladesh. Salah now faces an addition "trial" for that "offence." This is how it happened, as Salah relates:
If we do not find a way to help him, Salah may be convicted of treason and executed, or killed by the mob. In the best case, his life and health would be ruined by a long jail sentence and a slanderous and violent campaign.
Letters to Bangladesh authorities should be polite and not abusive and should emphasize the harm that this case is doing to the good image of Bangladesh in your country and the need to pursue justice.
Sample letter (with additional contact information in the addresses)
Additional contact information for Bangladesh officials:
Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Counsellor-1 (Pol.), Embassy of Bangladesh, Washington DC.
Letters to elected officials in your country and human rights groups should explain the case and ask for action to protect Mr. Choudhury.
US Embassy in Dhakka, Bangladesh - email@example.com
US Senators: Go to www.senate.gov
Human Rights Watch:
PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO FREINDS AND ACQUAINTANCES AROUND THE WORLD AND ASK THEM TO ACT
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/00000526.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.
Replies: 9 comments
You know, there is absolutely no effective way to pressure a government into not acting like a hoard of retards. Even if another government such as the US were to treaten sanctions for human rights violations (btw I always laugh about that one...the US being a huge human rights violator themselves) it would only hurt the citizens of the nation in question as their government would most likely compensate for losses by stealing from their people, such as Saddam did in Iraq. No, the only solution for a retard government is to empower the people and incite them to revolt, this was a common policy durring Regan's administration , of course he usually empowered war lords rather than freedom loving people. Though in this case, the majority of people in Bangladesh may agree with their government's actions. And their is no quick cure for indoctination, outside of tossing a thermo on their heads. The situation looks a bit grim for Mr. Choudhury.
Posted by OMFG @ 10/17/2006 10:42 PM CST
Hey Ami, how do you feel about the extremism of Iran versus the extremism of Saudi Arabia? And why is it that the United States and Israel pander to the Saudi's, when they are the most religously extreme nation in the region?
Posted by OMFG @ 10/20/2006 01:58 AM CST
Posted by john @ 10/20/2006 03:44 PM CST
LMAO Friends...The Suadis like Pakistan only find it more beneficial to them economically as well as militarily to do the bidding of the United States. We have many "friends" in the middle east that fit the same description. Which is why Amhadjeea.whats.his.name and the Syrians call their neighbors infidels. They are right, these nations stand for nothing, they are worms licking the boots of their master for a few pence. Friends that are bought and paid for are always looking for the next highest bidder. Freinds for sell are enemies who know your weaknesses and when the money runs dry will cut your achiles. We should not have a military presence in these nations nor should we allow them to be privy to our domestic or foreign policy making. They should be treated as hostile business partners and no more. Our intrusian into the region has made us a target. Israel may enjoy slighty better protection with our presence, but the facts remains the same.
1.All nations will eventually obtain nuclear weapons, we cannot prevent this.
2.Prevention of global extermination can only be achived through diplomatic means, military action will only escalate into the use of more destructive weaponry as well as result in the abandonment of adherance to international law, such as we see transpiring in the US.
The US must adopt a foreign policy based on compromise rather than testosterone. We can be an understanding nation and still be strong. Currently we don not allow the opprotunity to be understanding, as our first response is military action or abidding by old diplomatic policies that resulted from the actions of long dead regimes (Iran, American embassy hostage crisis.). Only when we have exhausted all other options should we implement a military response. North Korea is leaning in the direction of the former.
Israel on the other hand is in a situation that is without much hope for a resolution. If they cannot reach a compromise with their neighbors they will eventually cease to exist or become tyrants who will commit atrocities the likes of Hitler's Germany in a bid to defend their existance and their right to a resonable quality of living level. The US must let this scenario resolve itself instead of involving ourselves in the ever mounting path to war in the middle east. Ultimately our involvement will not sway the outcome unless we resorted to the anihilation of over half the region, a task that we are not capable of.
Posted by OMFG @ 10/20/2006 07:11 PM CST
Just had a few questions that should be asked.
1. Would the US have any intrest in the middle east if there were no oil there?
2. Would the US have any intrest in Israel if there were no oil in the middle east?
3. If your answer to number 2 is no, is it in the best intrest of the United States that Israel co-exists peacfully with it's neighbors?
4. If the United States were to switch to an alternative fuel source and help promote alternative fuels in other countries, would OPEC become bank-rupt?
5. The US could have used the funds spent on the IRAQ war for alternate fuel devlopement and implementation, why did they choose to squander these funds in an unprofitable and futile venture like removing Saddam? The bank ruptcy of OPEC by ensurring oli is obsolete would end any sway that the oil producing nations has over other nations (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, sadly Venezuela). Almost all of the so called enemies of the United States and Israel are Oil producers, the US could cripple them all by draining their bank through developement and implementation of alternate, non-petro derivative fuels. This method worked well in the USSR by training and supporting Al-Quida, who bled the Russians of not only blood but their national treasury. We also put other econmic pressures that help tip the scale and lead to the colapse. Though there are negative side-effects of the USSR colapse (proliferation of enriched uranium from rouge states and unattended facilities) The positives have out-weighed the negatives. Could it be that our government is selling us out to whomever lines their pockets with the most peices of silver? We have no reason to continue buying oil from our enemies. It is endangering our existance.
6. What do we do about it?
Posted by OMFG @ 10/20/2006 10:29 PM CST
"1.All nations will eventually obtain nuclear weapons, we cannot prevent this."
True, unless we nuke them, lol. Or, what I think, is to completely eradicate nuclear weapons slowly with negotiations.
"2.Prevention of global extermination can only be achived through diplomatic means, military action will only escalate into the use of more destructive weaponry as well as result in the abandonment of adherance to international law, such as we see transpiring in the US."
"1. Would the US have any intrest in the middle east if there were no oil there?"
"2. Would the US have any intrest in Israel if there were no oil in the middle east?"
HELL NO AGAIN.
"3. If your answer to number 2 is no, is it in the best intrest of the United States that Israel co-exists peacfully with it's neighbors?"
"4. If the United States were to switch to an alternative fuel source and help promote alternative fuels in other countries, would OPEC become bank-rupt?"
MAYBE NOT FOR A LONG TIME, BUT EVENTUALLY YES.
"5. The US could have used the funds spent on the IRAQ war for alternate fuel devlopement and implementation, why did they choose to squander these funds in an unprofitable and futile venture like removing Saddam? "
I HATE TO BE BLUNT, BUT IT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE SELFISH, AND STUPID.
"6. What do we do about it?"
WELL, WE CAN FIND OUT WHERE WE COME FROM, LOL. IN OTHER WORDS, IF THERE IS NOT ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY ON MORALITY, THEN WHERE IS THE MOTIVE FOR THESE SELFISH POLITICIANS TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT. PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO SERVE THEIR BEST INTERESTS IF THERE IS NOT OTHER REASON TO BE NONSELFISH.
Posted by john @ 10/21/2006 03:51 PM CST
"True, unless we nuke them, lol. Or, what I think, is to completely eradicate nuclear weapons slowly with negotiations"
The reason this did not happen with the United States and Russia even though we had an agreement to do just that was the knowledge of nuclear grade weaponry is still known. We cannot erase this from the minds of all humans and thus it will continue to exist. We cannot be naive and trust that another nuclear nation will abide by an agreement even with inspections. For inspections to be sucessfull the inspectors must be aware of every nuclear weapons location, this can be obscured with relative ease. Once mankind conceived the first weapon we entered a new era, and the clock cannot be turned back. Our only course of action, our only hope is M.A.D.. It is sad that the only security we have in this world relys on mutual fear of anihilation. It is also an unavoidable reality.
Posted by OMFG @ 10/21/2006 05:07 PM CST
Posted by john @ 10/21/2006 05:12 PM CST
You are correct, I thought about it a little longer.
"For inspections to be sucessfull the inspectors must be aware of every nuclear weapons location, this can be obscured with relative ease."
Posted by john @ 10/21/2006 05:17 PM CST
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