Amnesty International has urged the Bangladeshi authorities to ensure improved medical treatment for the country’s ailing former prime minister Khaleda Zia, as per UN rules on the treatment of prisoners.
The London-based group has issued a statement amid allegations that the 74-year old politician was being denied access to adequate healthcare.
Zia should be treated in line with the UN standard minimum rules on the treatment of prisoners – also known as the Nelson Mandela rules – which allows a prisoner to appoint a third party to access his or her medical file, the statement said.
Family alleged that the government had refused to disclose Zia’s official medical reports to them, it added.
Zia, the head of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has been in prison since February 2018 after a court sentenced her to five years in jail for misappropriating funds meant for orphans.
A higher court later doubled the term.
She was also sentenced to seven years in jail in October 2018 for raising money for a charity from unknown sources during her 2001-2006 tenure as prime minister.
The politician, a diabetic who suffers from chronic arthritis, was shifted to a public health facility in Dhaka after her condition deteriorated.
The BNP says Zia needs improved treatment abroad as she is getting physically worse by the day.
The party has filed a petition with the Supreme Court that seeks to have her released on bail.
The court last week dismissed the petition, but asked the government to ensure improved medical treatment for Zia.
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