A clarion call to save a Freedom Fighter

Jagoruk Manush

Jagoruk Manush


Abdul Jalil and Anxious Awami League Supporters in front of LabAid hospital . Photo: Banglar Chokh 

[Jagorook Manush, Canada]

Here is an urgent appeal to save a Freedom Fighter of 1971. His name is Abdul Jalil. He is fighting for his life in a hospital prison cell. His kidney is not functioning. His heart is failing. His blood is not getting enough haemoglobin to keep him alive. Whatever charges (if any) are against him are a matter of the court and the law of the country and should be processed accordingly. But he is in the prison without any trial without any chance for self defence, which is very unfair. A freedom fighter, who had directly fought for this country, does not deserve a death in the prison cell without proper treatment, in utter negligence and humiliation. Please do something before the life of this freedom fighter comes to an end.

I feel so helpless, so much frustrated that I myself do not know how to request or demand the release of Abdul Jalil to the present Government. I am asking your conscience; please keep your intellectual discussions and debates aside for a while. Please look beyond your political allegiances and preferences and think of Abul Jalil as a person. Please think for a moment about Abdul Jalil, who fought for the freedom of our country, how he can spend his last days of life with honour and respect that he deserves and can die as a freeman in his country. Please mobilize and use your every resource you have to save Abdul Jalil.

Jagorook Manush [http://jagorookbangalee.blogspot.com] writes micro analysis of events unfolding in Bangladesh. He is a vigilante to materialize the dreams of our martyrs and uses to write as a Guest Blogger for E-Bangladesh. He prefers to remain anonymous for his own personal reasons in the present context. 

[Update from Dhaka Correspondent]

The ailing Awami League general secretary Abdul Jalil was released on a 30-day parole on Sunday night to enable him to have better medical treatment abroad.

The government, however, imposed a number of conditions for the 30 days of his being on parole.

Family sources said, Jalil, who had been undergoing treatment in a private clinic in Dhaka, would be flown to Singapore today for treatment of his ill-functioning kidneys and some other complications.

As the jail code does not permit a prisoner to take treatment abroad, the interim government ordered his release on parole on humanitarian ground only after his health condition deteriorated. 

The 30-day parole began at 7:45pm Sunday. 

A government handout issued Sunday night said Jalil was released on parole for 30 days but imposed a number of conditions if he goes abroad for treatment. 

‘Jalil or relatives accompanying him will inform the Bangladesh mission within three days of his arrival in a country for treatment and will not be involved in politics and business there’, says the handout. 

The other conditions are – he will not be able to communicate with anybody or any organisations about any issues excepting the issues related to his health. He will inform the government immediately after his treatment completes and will return home. He will not travel to other countries other than the country he is allowed to go for treatment.  

‘His parole will be cancelled if any of the conditions is violated’, the handout said. 

Earlier, chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed held an emergency meeting with some of his cabinet colleagues at his office and decided to give him parole.

A five-member high-powered medical team was also formed at the meeting to report to assess condition of the AL leader, who was arrested from his Mercantile Bank office at Dilkusha on May 28 last year.

Hundreds of party leaders and followers of Jalil thronged to LabAid hospital in the afternoon hearing his release on Parol.

Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Abdur Razzak, Suranjit Sengupta, Syed Ashraful Islam, Shahara Khatun were among the leaders who met Jalil at the hospital.

Amu told reporters at the hospital that they would take Jalil to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.

Earlier briefing newsmen at his office, home adviser MA Matin said the authorities sometimes have to compromise with law in some special circumstances. ‘If necessary, Jalil may go abroad for better treatment on the parole.’

Asked why the AL general secretary should not be released since he was neither convicted nor any specific charges were framed against him, the adviser said, he would be paroled on ‘humanitarian ground’.

The government brought no specific charge against Jalil in more than six months after his detention for his alleged involvement in trying to destabilise the country by making provocative statements.

The Anti-Corruption Commission lodged a case with Ramna police station accusing him of concealing wealth in his wealth statement on December 18, five days after the High Court declared his detention illegal and ordered the jail authorities to release Jail if there is no case pending against him.

Later Jalil was shown arrested in the case on January 1, 2008. Earlier his name came up in the third lists announced by the ACC on May, 2007.

Asked about other ailing detainees, Matin said same decision would be taken if similar cases were found.

He said, they were well aware of the health conditions of detained AL president Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia who were suffering from various diseases.

‘Health conditions of madam Hasina and madam Khaleda Zia were not so bad that similar decision should be taken in their cases.’ 

Jalil was admitted to the LabAid Hospital on July 15, 2007. Hs condition deteriorated on February 28 leading to formation of a medical board to assess his health condition on Saturday. The board suggested immediate transplantation of his kidneys in a developed centre. Water was developing in his lunge and body due to the malfunctioning kidneys.

His family and the AL leaders were demanding his release and sending him abroad for better treatment. The government finally released him parole paving way for treatment in abroad as his health turned grave on Sunday.

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