Sedition cases against Priya Saha dismissed

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 16:44, Jul 21, 2019 | Updated : 18:12, Jul 21, 2019

Two courts in Dhaka have dismissed separate pleas seeking to bring sedition charges against Priya Saha, a Bangladeshi national, who told US President Trump that minorities in Bangladesh are being oppressed.
The rejection by the two judges of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court came on Sunday (Jul 21) as the pleas lacked legal grounds.
Earlier in the morning, Barrister Syedul Haque Suman moved to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Md Ziaur Rahman, which the court said would issue an order later in the day.
After recording the statement, “the court ordered to dismiss the plea as it lacks legal formalities,” said Abu Bakar Siddique, who stood at the court on behalf of Sumon.
Another sedition plea against Priya was also moved to Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Sufiyan Md Noman’s court by one Md Ibrahim Khalil, who is the executive committee member of Dhaka Bar Association.
The court, too, rejected the plea after the hearing.
More sedition pleas filed in courts across the country
Four sedition cases have also been filed against Priya, one of the organizing secretaries of Bangladesh Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad, in Jashore, Sylhet, Natore, and Brahmanbaria,
Jashore, former Bangladesh Chattra League leader Golam Mostafa Kamal filed a complainant suit against Priya Saha with Jashore Senior Additional Magistrate Gautam Mollik’s court in the morning.
In Sylhet, city Jubo League Leader Rimad Ahmed Rubel filed a complainant suit against Priya Saha, accusing her of giving false information about Bangladesh to US President Donald Trump.
Rubel moved the plea to under Sylhet Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mostayen Billah’s court in the morning.
In Natore, journalist Nasimuddin Nasim has filed a sedition case against Priya Saha under the Natore Sadar Cognizance court of Magistrate Mamunur Rashid.
In Brahmanbaria, Md Asad Ullah has filed a plea to file a sedition case against Priya Saha with Chief Judicial Magistrate Masud Parvez’s court.
Priya Saha, a Bangladeshi national, participated in the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held at the US Department of State in Washington, DC from July 16-18.
Delegates from 106 countries, including about 40 foreign ministers, took part in the meeting at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also attended the meeting.
On Jul 16, Priya Saha went to the White House and complained to the president of the USA saying, “Sir, I am from Bangladesh. And here is 37 million, the Hindu, Buddhist, and Christianity, disappear. Please help us, the Bangladesh people. We want to stay in our country.”
She also alleged that Muslim fundamentalist group burnt her home, took her. “Still, there are 18 million minority people.”
To get relief from persecution, she sought help from US President Trump.
“My request is: Please help us. We don’t want to leave our country,” she told Trump.
A video clip of the conversation later went viral on social media sparking nationwide outrage.
On Saturday (Jul 19), a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry termed Priya's allegations as "blatant lies" and said there was an ulterior motive behind Priya's "absolutely false and concocted stories", and they were targeted to malign Bangladesh.
It said that Bangladesh is a beacon of religious freedom and communal harmony, where people of all faiths have been living in peace for ages.
(Additional inputs by Bangla Tribune correspondents in Jashore, Sylhet, Natore, and Brahmanbaria)