Bangladesh opposition demand party’s leader release

DHAKA (AA): The main opposition party in Bangladesh held a rally Saturday in Dhaka to call for a nationwide protest to push for the immediate release of a former three-term prime minister.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia, 73, is in year two of a 17-year term related to graft charges.

Secretary General of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told the rally if the government would not release Zia, the party, with support of Bangladeshis, would force the government to meet its demands.

He urged the government to release Zia because she is sick and could not even move without help and lost weight, which is a concern.

He also rejected recently held election results alleging the Election Commission and the government of manipulating the election.

Low voter turnout proved voters do not have confidence in the existing set-up of the Election Commission to conduct free, fair and credible election, he said.

The election witnessed 29% voter turnout, the lowest in the last decade.

The BNP organized the rally in front its headquarters in Dhaka to mark two years since Zia has been imprisoned.

Zia’s party and lawyers, however, claimed the cases are politically motivated.

The government, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, however, rejects BNP’s allegations repeatedly claiming that the country’s law has taken Zia to jail

The BNP repeatedly demanded the government provide proper treatment to Zia.

Zia is the widow of assassinated former President Ziaur Rahman and is now currently at a government hospital because of ailing health.