Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will hold nationwide rallies on Friday (4 August) protesting the prison sentences handed out to the party's acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Zubaida Rahman in a case filed over illegally amassing wealth and concealing property information.
The rallies will begin after Jummah prayers, said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a press conference at Nayapaltan central office on Thursday (3 August) afternoon.
"The current fascist government is using the judiciary as a big weapon. They are harassing people who support democracy, harassing the most popular leaders of Bangladesh - Tarique Rahman and his family," Fakhrul added.
"However, the cases against Awami League leaders have been withdrawn, while opposition leaders are being implicated in similar cases."
The BNP secretary general also said the sentences handed out to Tarique Rahman and Zubaida Rahman were to dampen the ongoing movement.
"This government is using the judiciary and the media to prolong fascism, but their fall cannot be prevented even if Tarique Rahman and Zubaida Rahman or the party's leaders and activists are accused in cases, attacked, or murdered," he added.
During the press conference, Mirza Fakhrul condemned the attack on BNP Standing Committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy and Gono Odhikar Parishad member Nurul Haque Noor.
On Wednesday, a Dhaka court sentenced BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman to nine years in jail and his wife Zubaida Rahman to three years in a case filed over illegally amassing wealth and concealing property information.
Besides, the court also ordered the seizure of Tk2.74 crore property owned by Tarique and Zubaida, both currently absconding. Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge Md Asaduzzaman announced the verdict on Wednesday (2 August) afternoon in their absence.
The court has issued new arrest warrants against them along with the sentence. With his latest conviction, Tarique has been sentenced for the fifth time while Zubaida for the first time.