8 February 2018, Thu, 5:05

Begum Khaleda Zia jailed for 5 years; Acting Ameer condemns; demands immediate release

Acting Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and former lawmaker Professor Mujibur Rahman has issued the following statement on 8th February, 2018 protesting and condemning the government’s ill conspiracy to keep BNP Chairperson, former Prime Minister and the leader of the 20 party alliances, Begum Khaleda Zia away from election by sentencing her 5 years imprisonment in the so called Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

“5 years imprisonment of Begum Khaleda Zia in the so called Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is nothing but government’s vengeance and heinous conspiracy. The government has adopted ill strategies to use the court to serve their political interest and this verdict is a continuation of the same process. This verdict is not acceptable to the people at all.  

The government had come to the office through a voter less and farcical election held on 5th January, 2014 and now they become completely detached from the masses. The government is severely afraid of the countrymen. So to avert the public choice in the next parliament election, they have plotted conspiracies to keep the opposition leaders away from the election process. Jamaat’s top leaderships were their first victims. Through a farcical trial procedure, the government has executed 5 top Jamaat leaders. The countrymen did not forget that, during that trial process, the ministers and the ruling party MPs delivered open public address fixing the date of verdict.

Similarly, in recent times, the ministers also made many comments and remarks indicating the conviction of Begum Khaleda Zia as well. Today through the court, we observe the formal implementation of those previous indications and directives of the ruling party leaders. The defence counsels of Begum Khaleda Zia, during the trial process, scrutinized the anomalies and discrepancies of the case and placed their arguments properly. The countrymen expected that Begum Khaleda Zia would receive justice and would be acquitted from the charges. But reversely, she has been convicted and sentenced as per the desire of the government and she has been made deprived from getting justice. This verdict disappointed the entire nation.

Government is using the judiciary to meet its political ambitions and if this situation continues, peoples would lose their trust on the judiciary. If peoples have no confidence about the judicial system, it would lead the nation towards severe crisis. The government is intentionally making such crisis by using the state apparatus just to prolong its tenure. But the people will not let them to make it possible.

Centring the declaration of today’s verdict, government has created an abnormal and dreadful situation nationwide, in the name of maintaining law and order. The government has actually disconnected the capital Dhaka from rest of the parts of the country. The authority has been conducting massive arrest drive across the country for last couple of days and arrested huge number of opposition leaders and activists. Using the law enforcers, the way this government is convicting a former Prime Minister, it would be regarded as the black chapter of country’s political history.

Recently, the government also banned processions and rallies and confiscated the constitutional rights of the people. Such move from the authority also proves that they do not believe in democracy, constitution and the public rights. By the will of Almighty Allah, this kind of authoritarian approach will bring the ultimate collapse of this government.

Under the circumstances, we are urging the authorities concerned to withdraw all the false cases filed against the political prisoners and to release BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, Jamaat Ameer Maqbul Ahmad and all the detained leaders and activists of 20 party alliances. We are also calling upon them to take effective measures to hold a free, fair, credible and participatory election under a neutral caretaker government in order to rescue the nation from the ongoing suffocating situation.”