AJC Applauds U.S. House for Calling on Bangladesh to End Choudhury Trial

Mar 13, 2007, 01:00 ET from American Jewish Committee

    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
     "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
     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