Thursday, May 24, 2018 | Last Update : 02:15 AM IST

Thousands protest conviction of Zia for graft in Bangladesh

AFP
Published : Feb 13, 2018, 6:48 am IST
Updated : Feb 13, 2018, 6:49 am IST

Thousands of BNP activists in cities across Bangladesh joined hands in a march calling for Zia’s immediate release from a prison in Dhaka.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders and supporters protest in Dhaka on Monday. (Photo: AFP)
 Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders and supporters protest in Dhaka on Monday. (Photo: AFP)

Dhaka: Thousands of Bangladeshi Opposition supporters staged rallies across the country on Monday demanding the release of their jailed leader Khaleda Zia and free and fair elections.

Ms Zia, twice Prime Minister in the Muslim-majority nation of 160 million, was imprisoned for five years last week for embezzlement, sparking riots from supporters who rejected the verdict as politically motivated.

The leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is expected to appeal but the conviction may affect her ability to stand in a general election slated for December.

Thousands of BNP activists in cities across Bangladesh joined hands in a march calling for Zia’s immediate release from a prison in Dhaka.

“We want her immediate release and a free and fair election,” BNP secretary general Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told AFP outside the national press club in Dhaka where more than 5,000 gathered. Ms Zia, 72, is expected to be freed on bail once the appeal has been lodged.

Tags: khaleda zia, bangladesh nationalist party