We are relieved, but concerns remain: Fakhrul on Khaleda’s release announcement

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File photo

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today termed the government's decision to release Khaleda a relief, but said there were still some concerns.

"We were eagerly waiting for her release. It is a relief that she will get peace for at least six months. But we are concerned -- if she cannot go abroad, how will she get proper treatment?" he told journalists at Khaleda's Gulshan office.   

Replying to a query over whether the decision to release her was being taken positively, Fakhrul said the party will examine the conditional release and then give a statement.   

Contacted, a family member of Khaleda said someone from the family had approached the prime minister personally. "We are thankful to the Almighty and then the administration that they realised, even if it is late," said a family member wishing not to be named.   

Meanwhile, international watchdog Amnesty International South Asia said, "We welcome the Bangladeshi authorities' decision to conditionally release opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia from jail on humanitarian grounds. As she is suffering from a life-threatening illness, she must be given unrestricted access to the healthcare she needs."    

Earlier today, the government decided to release Khaleda for six months on humanitarian grounds and considering her age.

The BNP chief, now 74 years old, landed in jail on February 8, 2018, after a special court sentenced her to five years in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Her sentence was increased to 10 years later the same year.

 

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