Interim administration would discuss unconditional release of two former prime ministers



E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

[Dhaka Correspondent]

The interim administration would discuss unconditional release of two former prime ministers – Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia—now detained in graft charges as demanded by political parties, professionals and former lawmakers.

‘The demand is coming in, naturally to the government. The advisory council will discuss it. They will definitely look into the demand,’ Syed Fahim Munain, the press secretary to the chief adviser, told reporters after the weekly meeting of the advisory council on Sunday.

He was asked about the government’s position towards the demands seeking unconditional release of the two former premiers who had run the country between 1991 and 2006 by different quarters.

But the military-backed government of Fakhruddin Ahmed detained them as part of its anti-graft drive.

Both Awami League and BNP have been demanding unconditional release of their leaders, now staying in two houses, declared special jail, adjacent to parliament building, ever since they were detained

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Awami League, was arrested on May 16, 2007 followed by the arrest of her arch political rival Khaleda Zia, the chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, on September 3, 2007.

Sheikh Hasina who held the office as the prime minister from 1996 to 2001 is implicated in two graft cases and three extortion charges while Khaleda Zia, the prime minister from 1991 to 1996 and 2001 and 2006, charged with three graft charges. Sheikh Hasina is facing trail one case while the rest of the charges are under investigation. All the cases filed against Khaleda Zia were still under investigation.

In a letter handed to the Chief Adviser’s Office on Sunday, the BNP formally asked the government to release all political leaders, including the Khaleda Zia and her family members before March 26, the Independence Day.

On March 12, the AL made almost similar demand in a letter to the chief adviser, asking the government for unconditional release of ailing Sheikh Hasina to ensure her proper medical treatment in US.

Hasina was allowed to undergo treatment at a private hospital in Dhaka.

A group of former lawmakers of the eighth parliament in a statement on Saturday requested the interim administration to release of all the two top leaders before the Independence and National Day.

On a question, the chief adviser’s press secretary said the government must see the demand as “you know letter has come from the BNP too, and the journalists also demanded the same”.

‘These will remain in a democratic process, and they (the council of advisers) will definitely look into the matters,’ the press secretary said adding that the further steps will be taken after that.

To a question on the chief adviser’s reported comment on non-eligibility of the two former premiers to a proposed Truth and Accountability Commission, the official spokesman said the proposed commission is not only for them.

The chief adviser told the media that anyone convicted may be non eligible to appear before the proposed commission, he said adding ‘The terms and conditions of the commission is yet to finalised.’

The chief adviser had said that those who are convicted by the law are not eligible to appear before the proposed commission, that does not necessary mean he mentioned conviction of the two leaders, said Fahim Munaim.

The chief advisers’ interview with an international media, Aljajeera, was aired on early Saturday.


E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

3 Responses to “Interim administration would discuss unconditional release of two former prime ministers”

  1. Author Image

    Engr. Khondkar Abdus Saleque

    The two lady PMs were elected leaders oof the people. They are the chief of the two main political streams of bangladesh. Both come from families which sacrificed a lot for the cause of Bangladesh. Laeding Bangladesh by bangladeshi ladies is very challenging. The institutions were corrupt when Kahleda Zia in 1992 became PM. She tried to rule properly.But the ill motivated party insiders and beaucrats prevailed over her. Same thing happened with Hasia when she led the country from 1996-2001. But the period from 2002 -2006 was perhaps the darkest in the Bangladesh history.Khaleda lost all controlas Targeque and Hawa bhavan polluted every thing. Anyway there is no doubt that the failure of these Lady PMs to rule with iron hands brought miseries. But remember they are peoples leaders. They do not deserve the treatment they are getting. The cases against them must be fairly tried.They must be let out on bail .They will not flee and can not do that. If they are proved innocent on fair trial the government must not create impediment on their path.People still like to see them in Bangladesh politics. They definitely did not do more henious crimes than the war criminals which the government is hesitating to try. This double satndard will create doubts among the Bangladeshis.
    CTG must let this PMS free on bail without condition and allow them opportunity to challenge the allegation against them in free and open court. In the mean time they must be allowed to under go emmergency mediacal treatment at home or abroad.

  2. Author Image

    Mohammad Zaman Apu

    A very interesting comment for the release of the two ex PMs. What I have seen so far in leadership, it is the leader who is to be blamed in case he/she cannot lead. The phenomena they have, the culture they created, the path they taken, in the macro version: critical of the ruling government, conduct destruction of public property and assets through their favorite “Hartal” and “Dharmaghot”; I fail to see how they motivated the general direction of the country using mass population towards the right direction. In our parliament, after liberation, most common MPs had remained the same under the leadership of pretty static stands. Agreed on the part that they should be treated fairly, but for the people, if we are conscious, we need to promote thr right behavior through ourselves. We need to make sure our heart and soul has the best intention to serve our country, not individuals. Of course, I myself should not be also hypocrete, and practice what I preach. (That’s the hard part)..

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