Re: Choudhury - deserves our support!

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Posted by Al Gordon on 18:00:35 2022/04/12

In Reply to: Choudhury - deserves our support! posted by Joan O'C

Interesting how it is an American politician who is working for the release of this brave man. Where are his media friends? Where is Haroon Siddiqui? Where is Eric Margolis? Where is Robert Fisk? Oh, I forgot. His arrest is all Israel's fault, and they are working tirelessly to bring down Israel. Foolish me!


Apr. 12, 2022 22:27

An ambassador's lies


Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a journalist imprisoned in Bangladesh for the "crime" of advocating interfaith dialogue and an end to the blind hatred of Israel in his country. The 16-month effort to free him advanced significantly last week in Washington, when Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) and I met with Bangladeshi ambassador to the US Shamsher Chowdhury.

Shoaib Choudhury is a Muslim who had the courage to condemn radical Islam's growing power in Bangladesh. The newspaper he published and edited, The Weekly Blitz, gave his people their first unbiased news about the Middle East before police grabbed him in 2022 as he prepared to address the Hebrew Writers' Conference in Tel Aviv on "The Role of Media in Creating a Culture of Peace" (see excerpt on this page).

Shortly after his arrest, police raided his home and business, seizing computers, files and other material. A mob then sacked the premises with impunity. His family was threatened, even attacked. His brother twice fled the capital. Mobs gathered in front of their home, and police blamed it all on the Choudhurys' "alliance with the Jews."

The government said Choudhury was "spying for the interests of Israel against the interests of Bangladesh," then orchestrated a vilification campaign. They called Choudhury's undelivered speech their strongest evidence of his perfidy and said he broke Bangladeshi law by trying to visit Israel.

Choudhury remains behind bars in deteriorating health, without due process, and facing a capital offense. Blackballed from employment, his family is on the verge of financial ruin.

In our meeting, the Bangladeshi ambassador claimed Choudhury's incarceration related to a "purely internal financial dispute" that had "nothing to do with his attempted travel to Israel" or his journalistic activities. This was obviously false, and cannot explain the last 16 months of incarceration or the numerous accusations against him directly related to his support for Israel.

Kirk insisted that the matter be brought to a speedy conclusion and Choudhury freed. We also presented evidence, contrary to government assertions that Choudhury is being treated well, that he not receiving proper medical care.

The ambassador promised to rectify that, then announced that henceforth, Bangladeshi citizens could travel freely to Israel. The obvious test of such a proclamation will be whether Choudhury is immediately freed, cleared, compensated and allowed to express himself as he wishes.

Previous government promises have meant little, deflating Choudhury and his family time and again. The growing anger in the United States, however, will not be assuaged by empty promises, or by claims that Bangladesh is a democracy when a man's freedom, and freedom of speech, is so blatantly crushed. No matter what, we will not rest until our friend is free.

The writer chairs the international campaign to free Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury and created the Web site
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