Text: H.Res.64 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (03/13/2007)

 
[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 64 Engrossed in House (EH)]


                In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

                                                        March 13, 2007.
Whereas Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a Bangladeshi journalist who, because of 
        his beliefs in an interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims and 
        criticism of Islamic extremism, is on trial for sedition, an offense 
        punishable by death;
Whereas on November 29, 2003, Mr. Choudhury was arrested at Zia International 
        Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on his way to board a flight bound for Tel 
        Aviv; Mr. Choudhury's passport was seized, along with considerable sums 
        of money and several personal items; on that same day police raided Mr. 
        Choudhury's home and newspaper offices, seizing files, computers, and 
        other valuables;
Whereas Mr. Choudhury was detained in Dhaka Central Jail for a passport 
        violation, then subsequently charged with sedition; Mr. Choudhury 
        suffered harsh interrogation techniques and received no treatment for a 
        debilitating case of glaucoma; Mr. Choudhury's incarceration lasted 17 
        months without legal recourse;
Whereas on April 30, 2005, after intervention by the United States Department of 
        State and congressional offices, Mr. Choudhury was released on bail;
Whereas in the subsequent months, senior members of the Bangladeshi Government 
        made continuous public promises that there was no substance to Mr. 
        Choudhury's pending charges and that all charges would be dropped;
Whereas on September 29, 2005, Mr. Choudhury was awarded the ``Freedom to Write 
        Award'' by PEN USA;
Whereas on May 5, 2006, Mr. Choudhury was awarded the American Jewish 
        Committee's Moral Courage Award in absentia in Washington, D.C.; two 
        days prior to Mr. Choudhury receiving the award, after returning Mr. 
        Choudhury's passport and appearing to allow him to attend, senior 
        Bangladeshi Government officials issued threats to prevent him from 
        leaving the country;
Whereas on September 18, 2006, a judge with alleged ties to an Islamic extremist 
        party ruled that Mr. Choudhury will stand trial for sedition; the judge 
        made this ruling despite the Public Prosecutor's testimony in court days 
        before that the government did not have evidence and would not object to 
        the charges being dropped;
Whereas members of the United States Commission on International Religious 
        Freedom visited with Mr. Choudhury on their trip to Bangladesh in 
        February and March 2006;
Whereas on October 6, 2006, the United States Commission on International 
        Religious Freedom wrote a letter to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State 
        for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A. Boucher calling on the 
        United States Government to strengthen the ``voices of moderation'' in 
        countries like Bangladesh where the rule of law, democratic 
        institutions, and respect for human rights are under assault by violent 
        extremists; the Commission identified Mr. Choudhury as one of those 
        voices that should not be silenced;
Whereas, according to the Department of State's 2005 Country Report on Human 
        Rights Practices in Bangladesh, ``Attacks on journalists and newspapers, 
        and government efforts to intimidate them, political party activists, 
        and others, occurred frequently.''; and
Whereas moderate voices in the Muslim world must be supported and protected to 
        advance the security of the United States and its allies: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved,  That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
            (1) the Government of Bangladesh should immediately drop all pending 
        charges against Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury;
            (2) the Government of Bangladesh should immediately return all of 
        Mr. Choudhury's confiscated possessions; and
            (3) the Government of Bangladesh should cease harassment and 
        intimidation of Mr. Choudhury and take steps to protect Mr. Choudhury.
            Attest:

                                                                          Clerk.

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