His sin – his views about Jews and Israel and confronting Jihadism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, and religious extremism. He was put in prison after being wrongly convicted of blasphemy, sedition, and treason. This is how Israel-hating Bangladesh treated my brother – Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.
Shoaib was put in a condemned cell alongside death row inmates, which was a clear violation of human rights and the rule of law. No country in the world keeps general prisoners inside a Condemned cell.
Human rights are for humans but Shoaib for them was not human anymore. The guy who was regarded as a senior and critical journalist for Bangladesh was not even an equal anymore. I think this was the reason to keep him on cleaning and mopping duty as a convicted prisoner.
If someone wants to know how an Islamic republic treats someone who talks in favor of Jews or Israel, Shoaib Choudhury is the perfect example. Millions of Muslims, if, want to talk about Jews or Israel they keep their lips locked considering the consequences Shoaib has faced. I salute his courage and his strong belief that made him not bow in front of those semi-Islamists and unfathomable friends of the West.
But, the reality is the very people whom he was convicted of talking about abandoned him. After 7 years of rigorous imprisonment in a condemned cell when he was released, he was put in a world where he was alone and unknown, another condemned cell. But, he pulled up his sleeves, pulled his pen, and restarted his struggle.
Even Wikipedia highlights criminal charges orchestrated against him.
His struggle resulted in even removing the “except Israel” phrase from the Bangladeshi passport. The move that even the whole world could not expect, an Islamic nation removing official restrictions on traveling to Israel. But, he never received two sweet words from those he was struggling for.
Being a journalist, for him the world shrunk to his apartment in Dhaka, where he, his wife, and his son were known to each other. “Mossad agent”, “Israeli Spy”, and “Blasphemy”; these words always haunt him. The memories of jail are not sweet memories, but he is still living with them.
He is the kind of soldier who works tirelessly and results are there but, again, there is no one even to appreciate him for everything or anything he has done.
Today, he is living a very ordinary life but his struggles don’t end there. The newspaper, Blitz, which he, somehow, is able to maintain and run is struggling. No local advertisers give him advertisements – guess what! for the same reason; Israel and Jews. I don’t know when shall his struggles end but I just wish him good health.
In our lives, we always look for heroes. But unfortunately, most of us ignore those real heroes out of our own ignorance.