19 September 2020

Govt trying to submit ‘manipulated’ report on Khaleda’s health: BNP

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BNP on Wednesday alleged that the government is trying to submit a different report on Khaleda Zia’s health condition before the Supreme Court changing the one made by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University authorities, UNB reports.

“The medical board’s report sought by the court is yet to come. We came to know that steps are being taken to submit a different report (before the court on Khaleda’s health) by removing the report the BSMMU authorities have already prepared,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

He came up with the remarks while speaking at a seminar arranged by BNP at a city hotel on the country’s human right situation, marking the International Human Rights Day. Diplomats from 15 countries, including the USA, the UK, India, Pakistan, Russia and the European Union, were present at the programme.

The BNP leader said the government is working very carefully to unfairly prolong their party Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s stay in jail. “They’re violating human rights by doing so.”

On Thursday last, the Appellate Division deferred until December 12 (tomorrow) the hearing on Khaleda’s bail petition in Zia Charitable Trust graft case.

The court also asked the medical board, formed by the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) to treat Khaleda Zia, to submit a report on her health condition within December 12. The board failed to present the report on December 5 as per the directive given on November 28.

Khaleda has been in jail after being convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. She was found guilty in another corruption case later the same year, though her party claims both cases are politically motivated. The BNP chief has been receiving treatment at the BSMMU since April 1 this year.

Fakhrul said the BSMMU medical board in its report on November 30 said Khaleda has been at a ‘crippling stage’ and she needs much better treatment. “The Supreme Court asked the authorities to submit this report, but it’s yet to be presented.”

He alleged that Khaleda Zia has been kept in in jail ‘unlawfully’ for nearly 20 months in false cases while she has long been denied bail.

The BNP leader said other people convicted in such cases are freed on bail, but Khaleda has not been granted that due to various ‘obstructions’ by the government.

About the country’s human rights situation, Fakhrul said Bangladesh never witnessed such ‘horrible’ condition in the past.

He said around 35 lakh people were made accused in about 1.48 lakh cases over the last 10 years just because of political reasons.

The BNP leader claimed that 1,526 opposition leaders and activists were killed by the ‘ruling party men’ over the last 10 years while 781 people, including 423 BNP leaders and activists, were made disappeared.

He bemoaned that children are crying for their disappeared fathers while the mothers for their missing sons in the country which was liberated 49 years back. “A suffocating situation has been prevailing across the country while people have lost their basic rights.”

As the government ‘usurped’ power through resorting to ‘vote robbery’, Fakhrul alleged that it is trying to hang onto power indulging in unlawful acts.

He said the government is making efforts to fool people with a myth development and false information. “Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen rightly said development won’t be sustainable without democracy. There’s no democracy now in Bangladesh and people here have no right.”

The BNP leader called upon people of all walks of life to get united to ‘restore’ their rights and democracy by ousting the current government through a movement.

BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, noted economist Prof Mahbub Ullah and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, addressed the programme.

Pakistan’s acting High Commissioner Shah Faisal Kakar spoke at the programme highlighting the steps taken by the government of his country in protecting human rights.

He also talked about the human rights condition in Kashmir after the Indian government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

As Faisal Kakar was making long statements, Mirza Fakhrul interrupted him twice requesting to cut his statement short.


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