Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bangladesh update

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury had his day in court yesterday, pled not guilty. The witnesses for his trial will be called on January 22, 2007. His report of the trial is here, an admittedly obscure location for a sadly obscure story. The Australian has a story about him, the New York Sun had a recent editorial about him, and the WSJ Op-Ed is listed in the prior story. Word is beginning to get out.

This trial date is relatively important because Bangladesh will be having Parliamentary elections in January 2007 (date TBA, as far as I can find out), at which it's very possible that Islamist parties will gain seats and influence beyond their current coalition government with the ruling party, the BNP. If this happens, the Islamist judge in this case will have considerable backup in making a death penalty verdict stick. Hard to believe that I find myself on the same side as Amnesty International and Freedom House, but strange situations do make strange bedfellows.

More congressional pressure would be better, email or call your Congressman and Senators. It only takes a minute and doesn't cost anything, and you might save somebody's life.

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