Hidden Nook

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Jailed Journalist Freed

[Media Source*]

(Hat Tip: Israpundit)

Earlier today, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, the Muslim journalist jailed after publishing articles that urged his nation of Bangladesh to recognize Israel, advocated interfaith dialogue, and condemned terrorism and the growing power of radical Islamists in the non-Arab Muslim world, was released at about 7 pm Dhaka time.

Throughout 2003, Choudhury wrote articles countering the biased news about Israel and the Jews, interviewed Israeli professor and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ada Aharoni, and helped Zionist Richard Benkin publish material in the Bangladeshi press. All of this sparked debate and discussion where there had been none before. But as he was about to leave for an historic address in Tel Aviv, Choudhury was taken away by police.

After publishing the articles his country not only thanked him by jailing him, but decided to raid his home, (via Police) allowed a mob to destroy it thereafter (with impunity) and accusing him of spying for Israel after as it was the only charge that could "stick" to Choudhury. It was only after US Congressman Mark Kirk
(R-IL) decided to get involved, along with Benkin, and the new Bangladeshi Ambassador Shamsher Chowdhury was Choudhury eventually freed.

Kirk proved a solid advocate for
Choudhury and human rights, clearly enunciating the case for his freedom.
Chowdhury was receptive and promised to press the matter with his
government. All three men pledged to work together for justice. The
ambassador proved to be a man of his word. Soon thereafter, Choudhury began
receiving the needed health care previously denied him; and only three weeks
after the meeting, he was freed.

Choudhury, despite having all the right reasons to be angry (after all his family was brought to financial ruin because of this) was not bitter. He feels that his "...17 months in prison will have been worth it" if his government returns towards its former principals of tolerance and democracy. For his sake, lets hope that Bangladesh does.

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By Darnell Clayton • 10:20 PM • Email Post • •


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