Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bangladesh Trial Update

If you remember my previous posts, the trial of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury for blasphemy for daring to write articles critical of Al Qaeda in Bangladesh and for advocating economic relations with Israel (as the charges read, "sedition, treason and blasphemy" -- right) was supposed to go off January 22, 2007.

The good news is that the government witnesses didn't show up, and apparently the government of Bangladesh is getting the picture that this trial isn't helping their image in the democratic countries of the world. Other good news is that the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed, in a bipartisan fashion and without dissent, a resolution calling for the government of Bangladesh to drop all charges against Mr. Choudhury. It should go to the full House soon.

The bad news is that while the government of Bangladesh had apparently told everyone concerned about the issue that there would be three hearings and no witnesses would show up, allowing the issue to be dropped, two witnesses showed up for his February 28 trial, and thus the trial has to continue. Given that the judge in the case is inclined to favor the Islamists, this is not a good thing for Mr. Choudhury.

Ask your representatives to co-sponsor House Resolution 64 (text (PDF)).

This just ain't right, folks.

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