Sunday, September 23, 2007

Choudhury In Court

Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury appeared in court today to face charges including treason and blasphemy. Courtesy of Richard Benkin's pro-Choudhury site Interfaith Strength, here is the latest on his situation:

From Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury on the Sept. 23 court appearance: "30th Court Appearance since released on bail on April 30th 2005. On tomorrow,23rd September 2007 at 10:00 am [Bangladesh Time] Despite repeated assurances from the Government and Resolution in the US Congress, European Parliament, & Australian Parliament,the false sedition, treason and blasphemy charges still hang on my head. As per statistics maintained by one of my lawyers, I have spent more than 210 hours in attending court, since my release. This is a serious stain on members of my family and me, both financial and mental. All such expenses are borne from the income Of Blitz Printers & Blitz Publications." BUT, THE BANGLADESHI GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED TO INCREASE THE HARRASSMENT BY MAKING THE COURT DATES MORE FREQUENT SHOAIB SENT THIS AFTER BEING IN COURT: "On Sunday, 23rd of September 2007, I went to the court at 10:00 am Bangladesh Time, and the judge after keeping me on the dock for 5 hours set the next date for 30th of September 2007. My lawyer appealed to the court for fixing the next date After Eid, as it is extremely painful for anyone to be in the Court during the months of Ramadan [I am fasting of course]. The judge declined his prayers and asked me to appear before the court on 30th September 2007 when the trial will resume. The judge has instructed his staffs in the court to issue summon on the witnesses to appear before the court on the specified date. This will be my 31st appearance in the court since getting released on bail."

The government's continued outrage--it's decision to side with injustice--seems a clear message that perhaps we must now again clearly express our outrage. So far, we have been successful in preventing the nation of Bangladesh, which prefers the company of terrorists to justice, from winning any trade benefits. It should know, however, that its continued outrages place its economic relations with us in serious jeopardy. I don't know about anyone else, but I do not want to purchase garments made in a country that oppresses my brother without cause. I suggest others check the labels BEFORE buying a garment. And there is more action, as the Bangladeshi government has a great deal of exposure. I previously offered myself as an intermediary to negotiate and resolve the issue amicably, but evidently this government prefers the path of confrontation. If that is their choice, so be it. Expect more in the coming weeks.


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