I was away in Ottawa so did not have the facilities to post on this - but as I write this, Tasneem Khalil has now been freed. It was an extra-ordinary 24 hours that saw the mainstream media in Bangladesh silent on the arrest of such a notable journalist, while it was his blogger colleagues around the world who rallied behind him and lobbied to secure his release. His crime - Khalil wrote a Human Rights Watch report about the elite Bangladeshi security forces and its alleged participation in torture and extra-judicial killings.
Both CNN and BBC carry a good background to his story. When the new military backed government took power in Bangladesh and vowed to root out corruption, all of us ordinary Bengalis rejoiced. We should have known "history repeats itself". When Musharref ousted Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistanis who were tired of corruption masquerading as democracy rejoiced at 'accountability in politics'. Today Pakistan is no better than it was on that fateful day when the military took over in Islamabad.
The only difference in Bangladesh is that the military is behind the scenes, hiding under the facade of a caretaker government that had long forgotten what its purpose was - to weed out corrupt politicians and hold democratic elections.
The English have a saying - 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'. It seems to fit Bangladesh aptly.
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