LDP demands freedom for political detainees without charges
Tuesday, 27 May 2008


The Liberal Democratic Party Monday demanded the immediate release of political detainees without specific charges against them.

LDP rolled out a 30-point charter of demands from a meeting with cabinet members at the Chief Adviser's Office.

An immediate end to the state of emergency and all restrictions on indoor political activity, trial of war criminals and a specific date for the national polls were among the demands.

After the afternoon meeting, commerce adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman and LDP leader Oli Ahmed briefed reporters.

The LDP asked the government not to harass politicians if there was no specific allegation against them.

"Politicians are linked to the achievements of the country. Try them if there is any specific allegation against them. Release them if there is no allegation," Oli Ahmed asked the government.

On restrictions on politics, he said, "Indoor politics is not possible under restriction. The government has to withdraw all the restrictions."

"The government has set elections for the third week of December, but people cannot keep faith in it. So a specific date for the polls is necessary to make people election-focused."

The LDP leader said the election was not possible amid the state of emergency.

"One cannot change the constitution at one's will. We want some changes to the constitution too. Some amendments are needed to strike a balance of power, but we want to make the changes through parliament, not otherwise."

Oli Ahmed said the LDP was not willing to sign any agreement with the government.

"We want unity on various issues, but there must be specific proposals on it."

The LDP demanded "total freedom" for the press.

"Ninety-nine percent people of the country, including the head of the government and army chief agreed on the trial of war criminals. So the process should start now," he said.

Declaring war criminals, corrupt people, and black money holders ineligible to contest the national polls was one of the LDP demands.

"The key duty of the government is to hold national polls, not the local polls," he emphasised

Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman said: "Our talks were fruitful."

Rahman said it figured in the talks if the government had any agenda.

"But we have said that our agenda is to hold a free, fair and peaceful election and create a consensus on a specific set of proposals," the adviser said.

Monday's morning session dialogue was held with the Communist Party for two hours from 10am. Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed led the government side to the dialogue.

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