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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trial of moderate Muslim in Bangladesh goes on

Bangladesh journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is  on trial for his life, essentially because he spoke out against radical Islam. He was caught trying to travel to Israel, an "enemy" state. This "offence" carries a maximum jail sentence of six months. But Bangladesh radicals cooked up a stew of charges against him including treason and a court system sympathetic to the radicals has dragged the trial on for almost 5 years. The nature of the "trial" and the justice he is likely to get in Bangladesh is illustrated by the latest episode in Kafkaesque Bangladesh justice.
Ami Isseroff
Dhaka: October 5, 2008

Officer in Charge in Bangladesh Police and plaintiff and investigation officer in the Sedition, Treason and Blasphemy charges brought against Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, Mohammed Abdul Hanif told the court of Metropolitan Session Judge, Mohammed Azizul Huq that Israel is an enemy state of Bangladesh.

Abdul Hanif was cross examined on Sunday by the counsel of Mr. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, senior advocate of Bangladesh Supreme Court, Advocate Samarendra Nath Goswami, who is also the Secretary General of Bangladesh Minority Lawyer's Association [BMLA].

Counsel for Mr. Choudhury informed the court that, after arresting him on November 29 2003, he took him on remand and tortured him mercilessly and conspired to kill him in extra judicial killing. Once failed in this attempt he [Hanif] sent Shoaib Choudhury in the Cell 14 in Dhaka Central Jail [which is for mentally insane people and conspired to get him killed by the mentally insane people. Then he [Shoaib] was sent to Cell # 15, which is for hardened criminals where Hanif once again tried to get him killed through hired hooligans.

Mohammed Abdul Hanif has been assigned by the Bangladeshi government to be the plaintiff as well the investigation officer in the case, which is very irregular.

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