Salah Choudhury

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Bangladeshi writer, author, and peace campaigner Salah Choudhury is well-known in the media community for his anti-jihadist stance. This distinguished journalist was a trailblazer in the establishment of A-21 TV, the first-ever private television network in Bangladesh. In addition, he is renowned for encouraging communication between Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Because of his sympathy for Christians and Jews, he got into difficulties and was briefly abducted by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), imprisoned, beaten, and attacked by mobs. He is well-known thanks to The Weekly Blitz, his anti-jihadist tabloid. It is Bangladesh’s biggest English-language weekly. In addition to being the head editor of Jamjamat and Daily Frontline, he is the author of several books in both Bangla and English. For his unwavering efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding between Israel and the Islamic world, he has won multiple international prizes.

Childhood & Formative Years

The eldest child of Ghulam Ather Choudhuri and Sharifa Choudhury, Salah Choudhury was born on January 12, 1965, as Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury in Sylhet, Bangladesh, at Sylhet Medical College Hospital.

Career of Salah Choudhury

In 1989, he started working as a correspondent for the Itar-TASS News Agency in the Soviet Union. In 1991, he was elevated to the position of chief correspondent in Bangladesh.
Salah lost his work as a result of the closure of several Itar-TASS offices throughout the world, including Bangladesh, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1996.

In 1996, he started Bangladesh’s first-ever private television network, A-21 TV.
He began reading “Daily Inqilab,” a publication published in 2001 by war criminal Maulana Abdul Mannan, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamist organization in Bangladesh.
He was the general director of Daily Inqilab’s own TV company, Inqilab Television.

In 2003, he launched the English-language tabloid “The Weekly Blitz” to combat terrorism. The publication featured stories endorsing Jews and Christians, particularly those residing in Israel.
He was detained in November 2003 at the Dhaka airport, purportedly because of his ties to the Mossad, shortly before his flight to Tel Aviv via Bangkok to attend the Hebrew Writers’ Association conference.
He broke the Passport Act, which prohibits Bangladeshi nationals from traveling to countries with which they do not have diplomatic ties, such as Taiwan and Israel, by trying to enter Israel.

He was detained for 17 months in a Dhaka jail on charges of treason, sedition, and blasphemy, and he refused to receive glaucoma treatment. In April 2005, he was freed on bond but the charges were not withdrawn.

His tabloid office was firebombed in July 2006, a year after he was freed, and he was severely attacked by the crowds, breaking his ankle. After that, a mob attacked him once more and looted his office.
He was taken hostage by members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in March 2008 and subjected to physical abuse; nevertheless, he was freed a few hours later due to pressure from his supporters.
In February 2009, armed goons from the Bangladesh Awami League entered his office, “The Weekly Blitz,” and physically attacked him once more. Despite the police complaint being filed, they were not prosecuted.

He is the author of multiple books in Bengali and English. “Injustice & Jihad” (2007) and “Inside Madrassa” (2009) are a couple of his works.
Since 2005, he has been the Bangladesh Minority Lawyer’s Association’s advisor. In addition, he serves as chief editor of the weekly publication Jamjamat and editor of the daily Frontline.

He was found guilty of treason and blasphemy on January 9, 2014, by the Metropolitan Session Judge in Dhaka. He was given a severe nine-year prison sentence. According to the court’s ruling, Salah Choudhury harmed Muslim sentiment by endorsing Jews and Christians, damaged Bangladesh’s reputation by labelling Osama Bin Laden and Yaseer Arafat as terrorists, and plotted against the nation by alleging Madrassas were the breeding grounds for radical Islamic militancy.

A case was launched by Salah Choudhury challenging this decision. Shoaib Choudhury was released from prison on July 29, 2018, having served his entire sentence, while the appeal was kept pending for years. His passport has been taken by Bangladeshi officials after his release, preventing him from traveling overseas.

Honors and Accomplishments

In 2005, PEN USA bestowed upon him the Freedom to Write Award in recognition of his contributions to the journalistic industry.

The American Jewish Committee presented him with the Moral Courage Award in 2006. The Bangladeshi authorities prevented him from traveling to the United States, therefore he was unable to receive the same.

In 2007, HRH Prince Albert of Monaco bestowed upon him the Monaco Media Award in recognition of his efforts to foster understanding between the Islamic world and Israel.
His book “Non Sono Colpevole,” published in 2008 by the Neftasia publishing firm, was the first authored by a journalist from Bangladesh to be translated into Italian.
Mayor Elie Katz of New Jersey gave him a certificate of moral courage, and Mayor Michael Wildes gave him the Key to Englewood.

Individual Life and Legacy of Salah Choudhury

He has two kids with Shahnaj Choudhury, his spouse.

Net worth of Salah Choudhury

The estimated net worth of Salah Choudhury is about $1 million.