Journalist close to opposition detained in Bangladesh

The Associated Press

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Police in Bangladesh questioned a prominent journalist and close aide of opposition leader and ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia over the weekend for his alleged role in a conspiracy to kidnap the only son of the current prime minister.

Shafik Rehman, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was sent to police detention Saturday for five days after a court in Dhaka approved his interrogation about the plot to kidnap Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy.

Rehman, 81, who also holds a British passport, was picked up in a raid at his home. His wife, Taleya Rehman, said the detectives initially posed as journalists from a local television station before identifying themselves and taking her husband away with them.

She said the British High Commission in Dhaka was informed of the arrest.

Police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sorder told reporters that Rehman would be questioned to get more details about the plan to kidnap and kill Joy.

According to the details of the case filed in August last year, several people close to Zia were part of the conspiracy and met in Britain, the United States and Bangladesh to discuss the plot.

Zia strongly condemned Rehman’s arrest and demanded that he be released immediately. She said in a statement that the arrest was meant to divert people’s attention from “terrible misrule” of the impoverished South Asian nation’s current government.


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