BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's sister Selima Islam today made a humanitarian call to the government for releasing the party chief, paving the way for her advanced treatment.
"Her [Khaleda's] physical condition is now very bad. She's suffering from respiratory problems, and she's almost unable to speak," she told reporters after meeting her sister at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
Selima further said, "I call upon the government to consider her ailment and consider her current physical condition, respiratory problem and age. She should either be released or given bail on humanitarian ground. We made this call to the government and demand her unconditional release."
About Khaleda's present condition, she said the BNP chief cannot stand for even five minutes without assistance. "The distance from her bedroom to the washroom is very short, but it takes her around 20 minutes to get there. Her left hand has gotten bent completely while the right one is also now getting bent."
Selima also said her sister is unable to eat as she is suffering from fever and serious pains in her body, and her diabetes has worsened beyond control.
She feared that something bad would happen if the BNP chief is not immediately provided with advanced treatment now as her condition has sharply deteriorated.
"We want her [Khaleda] to be released so that we can at least ensure advanced treatment for her. This is our only request," an emotional Selima told journalists.
Asked whether they filed any formal application to the government in this regard, she replied in the negative. "We're making an appeal to the nation and the country's people to pray for her early recovery, and make efforts for her release."
When asked about the application reportedly submitted by the BNP chief's family to the BSMMU VC, Selima said they gave it demanding Khaleda's release since she had been convicted in 'false cases'.
Five of her family members, including Selima, her younger brother Shamim Eskandar's wife Kaniz Fatema and her son Ovik Eskandar, Tarique Rahman's sister-in-law Shahina Zaman Bindu and Arafat Rahman Koko's mother-in-law Mukrema Reza, went to meet Khaleda around 3:30pm and had an hour-long visit, said BNP chairperson's media wing member Shamsuddin Didar.
Khaleda has been in jail since she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. She was found guilty in another corruption case later the same year, though her party claims both cases are politically motivated.
The BNP chief has been receiving treatment at the BSMMU since April 1 last year.