April 23, 2005


Sharif left a comment in my blog asking for my thoughts on Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury who is detained by Bangladesh government without proper evidence on espionage charges. Some excerpts of his comment:

This is a very sensitive topic amongst us, even educated so called liberal Bangladeshis living abroad act in a very reactionary way. I feel that the idea Free speech was threatened by this arrest in Bangladesh. And also I am concerned about apparent anti-semitic attitude in Bengali culture.

The Israeli-Palestine conflict has reached a level that one cannot blame just a particular side. The history and most importantly the politics of that region is getting more and more complicated that it is not a black and white situation anymore. The peace plans on the table are working towards recognizing both nations a sovereign state. Now, saying that, I am not ignoring the atrocity of the Israeli government and trying not to overlook the suffering of Palestine. Nor I am supporting U.S foreign policy and other discriminations. However, if you recognize Palestine as a state you need to also do the same for Israel. Bangladesh is more concerned on how other Arab nation and fundamentalist in the country will react than establishing a good diplomatic relation. I don't have the source with me, but if I remember Israel was one of first country to recognize Bangladesh even before USA. Recognizing Israel doesn't mean one is supporting the occupation. At present, having a two state solution is viable approach.

I agree with Sharif more or less and think that the idea of free speech is threatened by Shoaib's imprisonment without proper evidence that he is guilty of the accusations. Furthermore, the justice is being delayed for unknown reasons. It is strange that we are not seeing anything in Bangladesh media or other human rights organiztion taking his case. Justice delayed is justice denied. So I think that his trial should be expedited and the truth should come out. But can we rely on a justice system not separated from administration who were farcical enough to charge an infant with raping?

I personally do not know about him or his affiliations. Vincent's Blue informed he was also affiliated with Inquilab, the Islamist newspaper; that is another surprise.But from reading his few articles, I think he is a rational man.

In a recent meeting with Dr. Richard L. Benkin the Bangladeshi ambassador to US claimed Choudhury's incarceration was related to a "purely internal financial dispute" that had "nothing to do with his attempted travel to Israel" or his journalistic activities, which Dr. Benkin thinks is not the truth.

If you think he should be freed please sign the petition. Anybody has more info on this guy and anything on the trial?


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