Report: Bangladesh arrests top newspaper editor en route to Tel Aviv for
allegedly spying for Israel
Bangladesh security authorities have arrested a senior Bangladeshi
journalist on Saturday, just before boarding a flight bound for Singapore
for alleged espionage in favor of Israel against Bangladesh and other Muslim
countries, according to the Bangladesh Observer.
In its Sunday edition, the newspaper said Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury,
editor of Blitz magazine and a former high official of Inqilab Television
was detained by security forces at Zia International Airport (ZIA) on
The paper added, citing reliable sources, that he was arrested on charges of
espionage against the country in favor of Israel.
According to intelligence officials, Shoaib Chowdhury was arrested just
before boarding a flight bound for Singapore. His next destination was Tel
Aviv to take part in a "symposium".
The officer-in-charge of the ZIA police station confirmed his arrest.
According to intelligence sources, Shoaib Chowdhury had been interrogated by
various security agencies at the airport. He admitted that his destination
was Israel via Singapore, where he would need to collect valid travel
documents from the Israel Embassy in Singapore, the report added.
He was scheduled to address the Hebrew Writers' Association in Tel Aviv on
December 1. His participation would have marked the first ever of its kind
by a Bangladeshi journalist in Israel.
According to the International Forum For Literature and Culture of Peace
(IFLAC) site, "Director and Chief of its Bangladesh Branch, Salah Uddin
Shoaib Choudhury, has been invited" by Israeli Professor Ada Aharoni, Chair
of the Foreign Relations Committee of the "Hebrew Writers Association in
Israel," to attend the Writers' Symposium on "Bridges Through Culture," and
to deliver a speech on "The Role of the Media in Establishing Peace".
The site added that IFLAC will formally announce the opening of its Branch
Office in Bangladesh on December 2 and that Choudhury had been appointed as
the International Director of IFLAC in Bangladesh.
It added that the Bangladesh office of the organization was already working
to promote "positive news" on Israel and the world Jewish community, in "The
Weekly Blitz" and major English dailies in the world.
Moreover, it said that one of the main goals of the branch would be to work
in "establishing bridges of culture and people to people relations between
Bangladesh and Israel, and to promote the global culture of peace".
Besides attending the symposium, the site reported Salah was scheduled to
meet local journalists and exchange views on various issues including the
issue of establishing peace in Israel, in the Middle East and in the world.
IFLAC's declared goal is to "help build a Middle East and a world beyond
war..., by means of literature, culture, art, that will create bridges among
nations, and harmonious human relations".
Israel and Bangladesh have no formal relations. (Albawaba.com)
www.albawaba.com November 30, 2003