NEW YORK, March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Jewish Committee applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for calling today on the Bangladesh government to drop all charges against Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. "The House has sent a crucial message in calling on the Bangladesh Government to drop the sedition case against Mr. Choudhury, investigate and hold accountable those who have physically attacked him, and take steps to protect him," said Richard Foltin, AJC's legislative director and counsel. "We commend Representatives Mark Kirk and Nita Lowey for their efforts on behalf of Mr. Choudhury." The House resolution, drafted by Reps. Kirk and Lowey, was overwhelmingly adopted. It is the latest initiative in an international campaign, led in part by AJC, to secure freedom for the Bangladeshi journalist. Before the vote, Reps. Kirk and Lowey referred to AJC's Moral Courage Award, presented to Choudhury in recognition of his deep conviction in interfaith dialogue and his dedication to moderation in the Muslim world. While Bangladesh authorities prevented him from traveling to Washington last year to receive the award at AJC's Annual Meeting, with the help of the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh it was recently delivered to Choudhury. As a result of his writings concerning the rise of radicalism in Bangladesh and his belief in interfaith dialogue, Choudhury, editor of the Weekly Blitz, the largest tabloid English-language weekly in Bangladesh, was arrested and imprisoned when he attempted to travel to Israel in 2003, to attend a conference on coexistence. His newspaper offices have been bombed and he has been targeted with death threats. "It is our hope that Bangladesh will take a stand against the rise of radicalism -- and the radical abuse of legal mechanisms -- which has harmed the stability of Bangladesh and threatens its international relations, particularly with the United States," AJC President E. Robert Goodkind and Executive Director David A. Harris wrote in a letter to the new Bangladesh government in January.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee