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Barrister Michael Polak: Stand up for abducted man, Tulip

PUBLISHED: 09:17 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:17 07 December 2017

Barrister Ahmad bin Quasem, known as Ahman, was called to the English bar and lived in London while he trained to be a barrister.

Barrister Ahmad bin Quasem, known as Ahman, was called to the English bar and lived in London while he trained to be a barrister.

Archant

Michael Polak is a lawyer at Church Court Chambers fighting for the release of a barrister detained in Bangladesh.

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq with her aunt Sheih Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh.Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq with her aunt Sheih Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh.

While it is laudable for Tulip Siddiq MP to fight for the freedom of a constituent languishing in an Iranian jail, she also has the opportunity and the influence to speak of the plight of individuals abducted by the Bangladeshi government.

Last year the family of Mir Ahmad bin Quasem approached me to press his case.

He is a British-trained Bangladeshi lawyer who was abducted in August 2016 by state security forces.

I have been told that Tulip Siddiq MP, who is also the Bangladeshi Prime Minister’s niece, is best placed to speak out and use her influence.

I have written to her office several times but, as yet, with no success.

When Channel 4 News confronted Ms Siddiq about this, she protested that Mir Ahmad was not her constituent, that she had no sway over Bangladeshi politics and that in any case she was a British MP focusing on Britain.

And yet, only last week, the Bangladeshi cabinet adopted a resolution ‘greeting’ the Hampstead and Kilburn MP for winning an award in Westminster.

It is also well documented that Ms Siddiq has represented the government of Bangladesh around the world including at the United Nations, as has her immediate family.

The response to the Channel 4 News broadcast last week tells me that the British public do care about the fate of Mir Ahmad and want him released.

All I am asking is for Tulip Siddiq to meet with me to discuss this.

My objective remains to free him so he can return to his elderly mother, wife, and two young children who need him with them.

I earnestly hope that with her track record in fighting for human rights in other countries, Ms Siddiq will be able to make a difference in another country where she has sway and respect.

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