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News & Views MPs table motion on missing Elias Ali


Conservative MP Anne Main, with cross party support, has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons expressing concern over the fate of the missing Sylhet Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activist and former MP, Elias Ali, and his driver, Ansar Ali. The pair disappeared on 17th April and have not been since. Concerns are growing over their fate. The motion says the MPs are ‘con- cerned for their personal safety,’ and ‘encourages the Bangladeshi govern- ment to do everything it can to ensure the safe return of Mr Ali and his driver and urges the UK Government to make representations to the Bangladeshi government.’ So far 15 MPs have signed the Motion and this number is expected to rise. A large number of Bangladeshis living in the UK originally comes from his hometown, Sylhet. Elias Ali is well con- nected in the UK. His two brothers are


UK citizens and the BNP has offices in London and members across the UK. The disappearance of Mr Ali comes at a time of growing unrest in Bangladesh, with a number of trade unionists and opposition politicians ‘disappearing’ or being killed, it is alleged by the security forces. A number of people have also died during demonstrations against the government. Amnesty International has called for an independent investigation. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked police to investigate the disap- pearance of Elias Ali and his driver, but has also claimed the men have chosen to go into hiding to ‘create an issue.’ Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International’s Bangladesh researcher says,”Why did the prime minister order an inquiry but then claim she knows what has happened? Any inquiry will be credible only if it is indepdendent and free from police and political involvement.”


Former Prime Minister & BNP Chairperson, Khaleda Zia after a press briefing in her office at Gulshan in Dhaka, consoles the daughter of Mr Elias Ali


Spice Business Magazine


39


May/June 2012


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