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Rumi Ahmed
15 July, 2010. USA

Mahmudur Rahman printed stories involving allegations of corruption about the Prime Minister’s family and her cabinet.

He is in prison and his newspaper has been forced to stop publishing.

Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury wrote an article in the Daily Star analyzing BNP’s victory in the Chittagong City Corporation elections.

He is in prison.

Shahiduddin Chowdhury said that Bangabandhu cannot avoid responsibility for the forty thousand people killed during his administration.

He is brutalized, denied medical treatment, and then sent to prison.

The list goes on and on.

Here’s the latest entry:

Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir’s parliamentary membership is cancelled; he is no longer a MP. The seat, Chandpur-1, will be declared vacant by the Election Commission, and a by-election will be held to it.

His BNP opponent, Ehsanul Haque Milon, has been kept in the prison for the last one year, on absurd charges such as stealing wristwatches, solely so that when this moment would come, Alamgir would have some slight edge over his younger, more telegenic opponent.

Here is the Awami League 2008 Election Manifesto, the much-celebrated “Charter for Change:

“Good governance through establishing Rule of Law and avoiding Political Partisanship. Human rights will be established on a strong footing with a view to ensuring rule of law. Independence of the judiciary will be ensured and the Institutions of the State and Administration will be freed from partisan influence.”

What is more partisan than keeping an individual in jail for more than a year just so that he will not be able to mount an effective challenge in an election?

None of this should be news to anyone. Milon’s daughter, Tanzida Nahar Haque, said as much in a recent press conference: “”It is a matter of regret that political enmity can be so ruthless and inhuman.”

It is, indeed.

After Major Jasimuddin in Bhola, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir is the second Awami League coalition candidate whose nomination has been found illegal: which means he should not have been able to contest the election in the very first place. There are at least two more AL and Jatiyo Party MPs whose nomination will also similarly be cancelled. Then there is Sheikh Helal, the MP from Bagerhat-1, who also won an election under a conviction.

These are five members of parliament who should not have even been eligible to contest the last parliamentary elections. That they still became MPs lends proof of the BNP’s allegation that the last caretaker government under Fakhruddin Ahmed and the Election Commission did everything in their power to help Awami League. If five Awami League coalition candidates were allowed to contest in direct contravention of the laws, how many were made to win by the administration’s covert and overt manipulation on election day?

2008 is past, the string of by-elections is now the future. There is no doubt that Awami League will try their very hardest to win, through coercion and force, if necessary. Even if they win, such victories will do incalculable long-term harm to this government. There are only bad options in front of Sheikh Hasina from now on. One fears, she will stay true to character, and continue to choose only the very worst ones.


Rumi Ahmed is a Bangladeshi blogger contributing from United States.


Senior Journalist Beaten

in response of reporting graft allegation
against Prime Minister’s son and adviser

M. Abdullah, Amar Desh journo beaten at response of reporting graft case against PM's son Sajib Wajed Joy

M. Abdullah, a journalist of Daily Amar Desh who reported a graft allegation against the son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with one of her advisors, has received severe injuries after a group of miscreants launched an assault of him. The attack took place within less than 36 hours of Syeda Shajeda Chowdhury, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and some other senior ruling party Awami League leaders threatened M. Abdullah and declared of ‘serious measures’ to be taken against him for the report he wrote.

It appears that the attackers were waiting at multiple points. The first wave came near the Army Stadium where stones were pelted toward his car and resulted at smashed glasses. Speeding up from the site, the car came at the Kakoli intersect toward Banani and the attackers again halted him. This time M. Abdullah himself received pelted stones and became injured. Immediately after knowing that the car can’t move without running over any of his halters, Abdullah jumped out and ran to escape the what appears to be a lynching attempt on him. He hustled in a running bus but before he could get on it, the attackers made it to hit him for several times and pelted stones and other objects to him on pursuit. At this, Abdullah received severe skull injuries.

In the meantime the car he escaped from was still left on the street with his chauffer Akkas Ali. The attackers attended the car and ended up with smashed glasses and the critically injured Ali. Police took a safe side by occupying the spot after the triumphant Awami League activists left an injured Abdullah, even more seriously injured Akkas Ali and the nearly destroyed vehicle standing like a fool. Apart from any of the attackers, all were rescued to Gulshan Thana.

Until all of us turn to be stupidly reticent, none of the newspapers existing in Bangladesh can satisfy us all in all. Readers can find a pile of articles in this website vehemently criticizing the Daily Star and Prothom Alo. Here the entity is not criticized. The entity Prothom Alo and Daily Star are not criticized. What receive vehement criticism are somewhat appear to be politically motivated or any ill-motivated contribution by those particular medias. But that’s just criticism, expression of disapproval to an unacceptably partisan or ill-motivated presentation, and that is the best possible way.

But now it looks like the best way now to express disapproval against a journalist and letting the people know about this is to halt his car, smash his skull with melee weapons, bleed him in back by frequent stoning and show rest of the wrath on his chauffer and vehicle when he escapes from the scene.

Beside those who actively took part in the carnage and those who provoked them openly in public speeches (Syeda Shajeda Chowdhury, Jahangir Kabir Nanak etc.), each and every person will have to take responsibility who have been vocal against attacks against journalists years ago but has decided to keep mum this time.

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