BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday demanded the withdrawal of conspiratorial cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia as the party claims the government imprisoned her through a ‘dictated’ court verdict to keep her away from politics and elections.
“People know and believe that their beloved leader Khaleda has not committed any crime. Begum Khaleda Zia has been subjected to brutal repression only because of the government's political vengeance,” said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, reports UNB.
In a statement, he also said imprisoning Khaleda out of political vengeance means imprisoning democracy. “The government has kept democracy captive by incarcerating Khaleda Zia. Democracy and Khaleda Zia are synonymous now.”
The statement was issued on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the jailing of the BNP chairperson.
On February 8, 2018, Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. The High Court later doubled her five-year jail term.
Khaleda, a former prime minister, was found guilty in another corruption case the same year, though her party claims both cases are politically motivated.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed her from jail for six months through an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25 last year. The government later extended the suspension several times.
“February 8 is a stigmatised day in the history of Bangladesh politics. On this day in 2018, the vengeful Awami League government unjustly jailed the most popular leader of Bangladesh, Begum Khaleda Zia in a in a false case of depoliticisation filed during 1/11,” Fakhrul said.
He said the government also kept her in jail for 25 months by snatching the BNP chief’s right to get bail from the court, threatening her life for lack of proper treatment.
The BNP leader said the government has kept Khaleda under house arrest by releasing her on conditions when her health condition deteriorated.