GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More on the Choudhury trial....

Where's Amnesty International?
The trial of a moderate Bangladeshi Muslim editor charged with denouncing Islamic extremism and advocating ties with Israel is set to enter a critical new phase Monday as proceedings against him resume in a Dhaka courtroom.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of the English-language Weekly Blitz newspaper, faces multiple counts of sedition, treason and blasphemy in connection with a series of articles he published that Bangladeshi authorities deemed favorable to Israel and critical of Muslim extremism.

Prosecutors will begin calling witnesses against him when the hearings resume Monday.

Contacted via e-mail by The Jerusalem Post, Choudhury expressed little confidence that he would receive a fair trial, describing it as being little more than "a pre-set drama," with the presiding judge, Muhammad Momin Ullah, serving as both "a one-man judge and jury."

"The judge," he wrote, "has his mind set to convict me. So, we definitely cannot expect justice from him."

"All witnesses are from the prosecution side, and they are all police or intelligence officials, so naturally they will speak in favor of the allegations against me," he wrote.

Although Choudhury's lawyer will be permitted to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses, he will not be allowed to call any of his own to testify in Choudhury's defense.

If found guilty, Choudhury could be sentenced to death.

In a letter sent to Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed last week, a copy of which was obtained by the Post, Choudhury appealed for steps to be taken to ensure his personal security, after Muslim radicals have targeted him for attack in recent months.

As first reported in the Post, a mob of 40 people that included senior members of Bangladesh's ruling party stormed Choudhury's office last month and assaulted him, fracturing his ankle. No arrests were made, and Bangladeshi police refused to allow Choudhury to file charges against his attackers.

In July, his office was fire-bombed shortly after the leader of a radical group threatened to kill him.

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