Shahidul Hoque, chairperson of the Belgian Awami League:”We believe it is unfair to circumvent Bangladeshi rules by misinforming the European people.”
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, January 26, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, a large press conference took place at the European Brussels Press Club regarding the health situation of Bangladesh’s first female prime minister. The Belgian Awami League, however, is not satisfied with the disinformation campaign of the former prime minister, who is trying to convince willing journalists of her story with what they see as mainly one-sided information. According to the Belgian Awami League, Khaleda Zia is already receiving the best medical care in Bangladesh from the best doctors and nurses in Bangladesh. “In that sense, we with the Belgian Awami League are very disappointed with the atmosphere that is created here, while the separation of powers must also be respected in Bangladesh and the decision must be pronounced by an independent court. We are nevertheless very human with her,” says Jahangir Chowdhury the general secretary of the Belgian Awami League. This organization promotes economic, political, cultural development, human rights and equality.
Further, according to the spokesperson of the Belgian Awami League, many “encores” have already been given to Ms. Khaleda Zia. “Circumventing the laws in Bangladesh by giving wrong information to the European public opinion, we find really unjust towards Bangladesh that has already given her spontaneous sentence reduction. Please let us not forget that she was convicted of corruption,” Shahidul Hoque, the president of the Belgian Awami League, told EUreview. Apparently, there is a lot of concern within the Bangladesh cultural community in Europe after the press presentation of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) that took place today, January 26, at the European Brussels Press Club. Shahidul Hoque, the chairperson of the Belgian Awami League said, “Desperate for public sympathy, the BNP leaders have turned the issue of Mrs. Khaleda Zia’s health into a political issue, hoping to make the government accountable to a European public and run away from proven facts. In several corruption cases, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was convicted.”
Prison sentences have already been deferred
Jahangir Chowdhury, the general secretary of the Belgian Awami League continues, “As a matter of fact, the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has postponed her prison sentences to enable her to receive the best possible care at home and in hospital. All this was done within the legal limits of the executive. Following the prime minister’s executive decision to defer Khaleda Zia’s sentence for humane reasons, her family is now demanding that she be taken abroad for treatment. She is already enjoying the best medical care in Bangladesh from the best doctors in Bangladesh. The court must be able to do its work in complete independence. Such a request should be addressed to the court, and only the Bangladeshi court has the authority to decide on it. It is a pity that they want to make this a political issue.”
Her sentence has already been postponed 3 times
Shahidul Hoque, the chairperson of the Belgian Awami League said, “The BNP Chairperson, Khaleda Zia, has been charged in several anti-corruption cases that began in 2007-2008 and ended in 2018. This is not a case brought by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In the Orphanage case, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In the Zia Charitable Trust case, Khaleda Zia received seven years. Both cases were appealed, but the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision and denied her bail. She was sentenced to prison in February 2018. At the family’s request, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh postponed Khaleda Zia’s six-month sentence and released her on two conditions: she would not leave the country; and she would receive treatment in Bangladesh. For her treatment, the court delayed her sentences three times (September 2020, March 2021, and September 2021) and did everything necessary to ensure her health. The authorities, repeated the restrictions to which she had agreed, could not but refuse the family’s renewed request based on the legal grounds. After all, there is no provision in the law in this regard. According to my humble understanding of this matter, the government of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was already extremely kind to postpone the sentence of Khaleda Zia due to her health condition, “explains Shahidul Hoque.
Human rights defender Andy Vermaut of the International Alliance for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL) consulted by the UN (ECOSOC) on human rights concludes: “I also studied this case thoroughly, and I found that after her release on March 25, 2020 in Gulshan, she was already living in the most prosperous part of the city. She was already receiving the best therapy at Evercare Hospital. According to my informed sources, Begum’s Medical Council had even decided to hire experienced doctors from outside, and this exactly in the interest of Khaleda Zia’s health. I also learn after thorough investigation that contrary to the claims, her health is actually improving, and she is very happy with the therapy she is receiving in Bangladesh. As a human rights defender, I think she obviously deserves the best of the best medical care, but at the same time, I do note that her sentence has already been postponed several times for humanitarian reasons. Furthermore, I know that in a rule of law, the executive cannot simply ignore the orders of the Court. I think it has been assigned to the courts that sentenced Khaleda Zia to decide on her release, and there is also the possibility for her to seek a pardon from the current president of Bangladesh. These are, I feel, people of honour and conscience. Still, I would like to point out that it is the transitional government, not the current government, that at the time accused the BNP president Khaleda Zia of corruption. That is a nuance that they do sometimes forget to mention, and I think some intellectual honesty is also appropriate in this regard. After all, the government did suspend the conviction of the BNP chairperson for health reasons, but it cannot simply overturn the court’s ruling.”
Jahangir Chowdhury continues, “The BNP also worked with extremists at the time (Jamaat-e-Islami, which is banned in Bangladesh and elsewhere). Even if it is already a distant past. The BNP, collaborated with the anti-liberation party, who led the genocide during the 1971 liberation war, blocked the prosecution of prominent war criminals, and is currently spreading misleading information about the nation to hinder its economic progress. The BNP should anticipate the court sentencing to prison to try to overturn its conviction. It is irrational to accuse the government of being politically motivated in its allegations of corruption against Khaleda Zia. Further, in my opinion, it is neither wise nor correct to politicize the health of Khaleda Zia. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already used her executive power correctly by already delaying the punishments to ensure the care and health of Khaled Zia. Hence, despite this disinformation, we still reach out to work together in the spirit of tolerance, respect, decency and fairness to help our homeland Bangladesh prosper economically, democratically and politically,” concludes Jahangir Chowdhury of the Belgian Awami League.
Shahidul Hoque +32 485 44 68 40
Jahangir Chowdhury +32 486 33 64 47
Andy Vermaut – Journalist
+32 499 35 74 95