Bangladesh's Law Minister Anisul Huq today (September 23, 2023) said that an application must be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs to allow BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to go abroad for better treatment.
He said this while talking to reporters in Brahmanbaria’s Akhaura upazila.
“The application must be submitted to the Home Ministry, which then can ask the Law Ministry for its opinion. A decision will be reached upon their formal submission,” he said.
“Khaleda Zia continues to receive quality healthcare at Evercare Hospital despite her prison sentence, courtesy of the benevolence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” the law minister added.
Earlier on September 18, the Security Services Division under the Home Ministry issued a notification extending the suspension of Khaleda’s jail term by another six months.
Khaleda Zia has to receive treatment in Dhaka, and she will not be allowed to go abroad during this period, said the notification.
BNP held special prayers for her at the metropolitan, district, upazila, municipality, union and ward levels across the country after Jummah prayers.
The 78-year-old former prime minister has been suffering from various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung, heart, and eye problems.
Since her conditional release in 2020, the BNP chief has been receiving treatment at the hospital under a medical board headed by cardiologist Prof Shahabuddin Talukder.
Khaleda was sent to the Old Dhaka Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. Later, she was found guilty in another corruption case the same year.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government of Bangladesh temporarily freed Khaleda Zia from jail through an executive order suspending her sentence on March 25, 2020, with the condition that she stay in her Gulshan house and not leave the country.