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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Bangladeshi Journalist’s Sedition Trial highlighted In the United States

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, D.C. 10 October ( The American Jewish Committee (AJC) today urged world leaders to press Bangladesh to end its persecution of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a Bangladeshi journalist whose trial for sedition set to begin Thursday, 12th October.

Choudhury, the editor of Blitz, the largest tabloid English-language weekly in Bangladesh was arrested in November 2003, when he tried to attend a conference in Israel. He was imprisoned, it is said, under extreme difficult conditions, and then released last year after efforts of United States Congressman Mark Kirk, among others, to seek his freedom.

In recognition of his courage to speak against Islamic extremism, and his effort to promote dialogue between Muslims and Jews, AJC presented its Moral Courage Award to Choudhury in May 2006 but the Bangladesh government prevented him from visiting the United States to receive the honor.

“For speaking the truth about the threat radical Islam poses in Bangladesh, and for seeking to visit Israel in order to further Muslim-Jewish understanding, Mr. Choudhury’s life now is in jeopardy,” said AJC Executive Director David A.Harris. "All nations that cherish human rights should speak out on behalf of Mr. Choudhery. To remain silent has never been an antidote for egregious human rights violations. On the contrary, silence has only encouraged the oppressor country to believe it can act with impunity."

Harris continued to say, “He has been a vocal opponent of radical Islam in his own country Bangladesh. He denounced the establishment of kindergarten madrassas, where the students have been indoctrinated with Wahhabi teachings promoted by Saudi Arabia that demonize Christians and Jews.”

Choudhury faces sedition charges and if found guilty, he faces the death penalty.

- Asian Tribune -

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