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>ailing Jalil freed on parole, flying for Singapore tonight for treatment

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>AWAMI League (AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil will fly to Singapore tonight for treatment as the government yesterday decided to release him on a 30-day parole considering his critical condition.
Suffering from heart and kidney problems compounded by diabetes, he was undergoing treatment at LabAid Cardiac Hospital.

Straight from there, he would be taken to the airport to board a Singapore-bound flight at 11:45pm today.
Expenses for treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital would be borne by his family, Inspector General (prisons) Brig Gen Zakir Hassan told The Daily Star last night.

The ailing leader will be accompanied by his wife Rehana Jalil, said sources close to the family.

Earlier in the day, a special meeting of the cabinet decided to parole the AL general secretary for treatment abroad following recommendations of a high-powered medical board.
Meanwhile, family members and party colleagues went to LabAid at around 8:00pm to take him to his Gulshan residence, but doctors said his health does not permit even a night’s stay off hospital.
“We were ready to release him as we knew that he would fly today (Sunday). But doctors said it would not be a good idea to let him leave hospital since he is on a life support system,” said the IG (prisons).
Talking to reporters, AL Presidium Member Tofail Ahmed said: “Doctors said his condition has worsened further and so he cannot be taken home.”

A medical board of LabAid Cardiac Hospital on Saturday said Jail needs to have a kidney transplant or be put on dialysis. It also recommended taking him abroad for treatment.

Jalil has been in ill health since arrest on May 28 last year. Despite his critical condition over the past few days, the prisons authorities kept dismissing the call for sending him abroad for treatment.
They reasoned that the jail code does not provide for a prisoner to be treated overseas.
In the meantime, his health continued failing sharply.
Alarmed at the developments, Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed convened a special meeting at his office yesterday noon.
There, a five-member medical board was commissioned to observe his condition and place recommendations.
The board examined Jalil’s health from 3:30pm to 5:00pm and concluded that he needs treatment at a hospital with advanced healthcare facilities.
Following up the recommendations, the prison authorities submitted a petition to the government for his release on parole, Brig Gen Zakir said.

When Home Adviser MA Matin was asked, during a press briefing, if the government’s delay in taking the decision was wilful, he said, “I was in constant touch with the doctors. Besides, earlier no medical board recommended sending him abroad.”

Replying to another query, Matin said, “Legal barriers were always there, but compromises have been made under special circumstances on humanitarian ground.”

Asked whether the government would send Khaleda and Hasina abroad for treatment, the home adviser said he is properly informed of their health. “Theirs is not as bad as that of Abdul Jalil.”

While on parole, the AL leader will have to comply with certain terms. Those include moving nowhere other than Singapore, not getting involved in any political or business activities and returning to Dhaka as soon as the treatment ends, a government notification said.

He or his family members will inform Bangladesh embassy about his health status once in every three days and will not contact any organisation or individual for any reason other than treatment, read the notification.

The government will cancel the parole anytime in case of any breach of the conditions and it may also scrap it without showing any reason, it added.

On May 28 last year, the joint forces arrested Jalil from his Mercantile Bank office in Motijheel. He was in detention under Special Powers Act for more than six months.
A case was filed against him on December 18 for concealing wealth information.
But there has been little progress in investigation.

He was first taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on June 4 after complaining of chest pain following a court order for him to be sent to prison.

In a letter signed on July 2, he pleaded with the government to release him on humanitarian grounds, and said if necessary he would quit politics.

Since his arrest, five medical boards were constituted to monitor his health.
(Read full article)


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