Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Mother's Arrest

We're sharing with you an unedited copy of in depth analysis by Sajeeb Wazed Joy about his mother, Awami League Leader Sheikh Hasina's arrest. Please read it and spread the words to demand Sheikh Hasina's immediate release.

"My mother was arrested in a dawn raid (5:00am Bangladesh time) from her house on Monday 16th July. Approximately 1,000 members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the army and the police surrounded her house in Dhaka and searched the premises without a warrant. They then took my mother to court where she was denied bail and ordered detained under authority of the indefinite state of emergency being maintained in the country.

After she was taken away, the armed forces confined all members of the household in a single room and proceeded to search the house without a warrant. They have since seized her personal belongings including her laptop, her mobile phone, her car and CDs.

The cases that were filed against her months ago have not yet gone to trial. Her arrest comes just one week after she exposed attempts by the military’s intelligence wing, Directorate General Forces Intelligence (DGFI) to break up the two major political parties and create a new party of handpicked leaders with dubious track records.

It has been no secret that the goal of this regime is to remove my mother from politics. To that end they first tried to intimidate her with trumped up charges when she was outside the country, but she would not be intimidated and declared she would return to face them. Next the tried to exile her, but were forced to back down and let her return. Then they placed her under virtual house arrest, even though they continued to claim there were no restrictions on her. Her arrest comes as no surprise.

It is also no secret that this regime has been trying to form a handpicked political party. They are attempting to do this with some very familiar faces within the two major parties. These are the same people against whom we have repeatedly heard allegations of corruption. Yet, while vowing to clean up corruption, this regime has actively participated with these corrupt and opportunistic politicians in trying to create divisions within the two parties.

The grassroots of the Awami League are completely united behind Sheikh Hasina. Due to this the regime’s attempt at creating a division within the Awami League was failing. This is the real reason my mother has been arrested. This was the only way they could silence her.

Police had to resort to teargas and rubber bullets outside of the court when my mother was ordered detained because of the large crowd that had gathered there to protest her arrest. On the route to the sub-jail the convoy was confronted at several points by crowds of supporters. Demonstrations and rioting have been breaking out throughout Bangladesh for the last two days, despite the state of emergency. For a short while the Dhaka-Chittagong highway was shut down because of rioting. A three day strike is in effect at all educational institutions throughout the country.

Demonstrations are ongoing in front of Bangladeshi embassies and consulates throughout the world. This includes Washington, DC, New York and Los Angeles in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Japan and the Saudi Arabia just to name a few.

We will not be silenced. We will not let the generals and a few sycophants take over power through the backdoor by destroying democracy under the guise of reforms, as they have done in the past.

I urge all Bengali’s around the world to stand with us at this critical hour. I urge our troops in our armed forces to look at what is happening. This is going to set our nation back 30 years. Our nation’s future is at stake".

Posted by Sajeeb Wazed

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