Friday, March 7, 2008

Action alert

Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury has been out of the news for the past several weeks while his trial for the crime of trying to visit Israel for a writers' conference (a/k/a "treason") has been continued yet again. His next court date is coming up on March 12. I get the impression that the government of Bangladesh intends to keep this trial going in bits and pieces until the earlier of a) Choudhury's assassination, God forbid, or b) a lapse of attention by the US Congress and Choudhury's influential supporters around the world, which they figure will happen sooner or later and which would likely lead to the same outcome. He potentially faces the death penalty, so this is no small matter.

In March, 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed this resolution urging the Bangladesh government to drop all charges against Choudhury. It passed by a vote of 409-1 (the sole dissenter was Ron Paul).

We may not be able to do much about the attempts on Shoaib's life other than to keep him in our thoughts and prayers. But we can certainly do a great deal to make sure that his unjust persecution and prosecution never escapes the glare of the media spotlight and Congress' scrutiny.

For ways you can help and for more information, go here.