BNP on Sunday accused the government of violating human rights by not allowing its ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia to go abroad for advanced treatment.
“Khaleda Zia has been sent to jail by unlawfully sentencing her. She’s not even being given the scope to receive treatment abroad. This is a serious human rights violation,” said party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, he said, “We demand the release of all those detained for political reasons, including Khaleda Zia.”
Fakhrul said an annual report of the UK titled ‘The 2020 Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Report on Human Rights and Democracy, which was presented to British Parliament recently, said Khaleda Zia has been jailed 'illegitimately'.
He said the report also focused on Bangladesh’s human rights situation and ‘restrictions’ on political freedom and the government’s ‘inhuman’ attitudes.
Fakhrul said a number of international and national human rights organisations have also expressed their views that incidents of deprivation of basic rights of people, repression on journalists, filing false cases and carrying out extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances are on the rise in Bangladesh.
“BNP national standing committee thinks that the report of the UK and other international human rights organisations have exposed that Begum Khaleda Zia has been jailed unlawfully,” he claimed.
The press conference was arranged to unveil the decisions of BNP standing committee’s virtual meeting held on Saturday evening.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government temporally freed Khaleda Zia from jail through an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25 last year. BNP has been claiming that she has apparently been kept under house arrest by imposing various conditions on her movement and travel abroad.
On June 19, Khaleda Zia got back home from the capital’s Evercare Hospital after 53 days of treatment for Covid infections and other physical complications.
But, Fakhrul said, Khaleda's personal physicians claimed that she needs advanced treatment abroad for her heart, lung, kidney and other health complications.
Her family submitted an application to the government on May 6 seeking permission to send her abroad for treatment, but it was turned down.