The Financial Express

Bangladesh govt terms Al Jazeera report 'false, defamatory'

| Updated: February 02, 2021 19:55:52

The logo of Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite news channel is seen in Doha February 7, 2011 — Reuters/Files The logo of Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite news channel is seen in Doha February 7, 2011 — Reuters/Files

Bangladesh has dismissed Al Jazeera news channel’s Monday’s report titled “All the Prime Minister’s Men”, calling it “false and defamatory” and a desperate “smear campaign” instigated by extremists and their allies, working in London and elsewhere.

“The report is nothing more than a misleading series of innuendos and insinuations in what is apparently a politically motivated “smear campaign” by notorious individuals associated with the Jamaat-i-Islami extremist group,” a foreign ministry statement said in Dhaka on Monday.

The Jamaat-i-Islami extremist group has been opposing the progressive and secular principles of Bangladesh since its very birth as an independent nation in 1971, it added.

The foreign ministry said Dhaka regrets that Al Jazeera had allowed itself to become an instrument for their malicious political designs aimed at destabilising the secular democratic government of Bangladesh with a proven track record of extraordinary socio-economic development and progress.

The statement noted that the main “source” of Al Jazeera’s allegations is an alleged international criminal claimed to be a “psychopath” by Al Jazeera itself.

“There is not a shred of evidence linking the Prime Minister and other State Institutions of Bangladesh to this particular individual, and it is highly irresponsible for an international news channel to draw conclusions on the basis of the words of a mentally unstable person,” said the statement.

Pointing out that the report’s historical account failed to even mention the horrific genocide in 1971, in which Jamaat perpetrators killed millions of Bengali civilians and raped more than two hundred thousand Bengali women, the statement said, this is the reflection of the political bias in Al Jazeera’s coverage.

It also noticed that the principal commentator of the report David Bergman was convicted by International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh for challenging the official death toll of 1971 Liberation War.

“It is also not surprising that the report aligns with the string of anti-Bangladesh propaganda habitually orchestrated by a few convicted absconding criminals and discredited individuals patronised by Jamaat-i-Islami Bangladesh, which on certain occasions have conspired with international extremist groups and news media specially the Al Jazeera,” said the statement.

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