Journalist Still in Crosshairs: Asks Supporters to Make Noise About His Plight

Today Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury e-mailed me that unknown men continue to stake out his family’s home and to chase his car, on motorcycles, when he leaves the house.

Such a pattern is extremely worrisome, he says, and suggests these men are possibly members of an Islamist militant group that could be planning a terrorist attack against him.

Choudhury, whose journalism has exposed the funding, by foreign sources, of radical Islamist brainwashing in Bangladesh’s schools, says he wants awareness raised about his situation.

“Your writeups or anything by anyone are always of help to me,” he writes. “It never hurts. Rather silence would.”

While the Bangladeshi government is prosecuting Choudhury for his writing, he does not believe the men stalking him now are from the government.  Rather, he thinks they are members of an Islamist militant group. The government, however, withdrew security protection from his home in May, 2008.

In January, 2009, ten members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to the new, left-of-center Awami League government in Bangladesh, asking for charges against Choudhury to be dropped and for that country to respect his rights as a journalist.

Leaders in the U.S. Congress who who signed on to the January letter and who also supported H.R. 64, which passed in March, 2007 and called on Bangladesh’s government to drop the charges against Choudhury, include Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), and Rep. Steven Rothman (D-NJ).

Concerned U.S. citizens can contact these and other legislators and ask them to press the government of Bangladesh to reinstate security protection for this pioneering journalist and advocate of free speech in the Muslim world.

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