Supporters of Bangladesh’s main opposition party have organised protests across the country demanding that their jailed leader be immediately allowed to go abroad for treatment.
Khaleda Zia, the 76-year-old leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the main rival of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been serving a 10-year jail term for corruption.
She has been barred by the court from travelling abroad after she was convicted on corruption charges three years ago – a conviction the BNP says was politically motivated.
The opposition leader was admitted to the critical care unit of a private hospital in the capital Dhaka early this month after her health condition “significantly worsened”.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP secretary-general, said on Tuesday that Bangladesh’s healthcare system has “no further treatment” for Zia and she needs “treatment abroad immediately”.
Zia, a three-time prime minister of the South Asian nation, is suffering from liver disease, chronic kidney disease and a heart ailment in addition to her existing conditions of rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, according to her personal physician Dr AZM Zahid Hossain.