Media coverage of foreign envoys’ statements on Mushtaq’s death irks Momen

FE ONLINE REPORT | Monday, 1 March 2021

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Monday slammed the media for their coverage of ‘nuisance’ concerns expressed by foreign envoys over the death of a writer in jail.

Death in jail is a common phenomenon in every country even in the US, said the minister to reporters at his office while briefing them on his recent US visit.

“But strange thing is that when someone dies in jail in Bangladesh, they (foreign envoys) create a hype over it and our media give a huge coverage on that” the minister said.

He also reminded the newsmen that if a Bangladeshi envoy expresses concern over custodial death in a foreign country, then that incident would not get any coverage in the media of that respective country.

Our media should have a sense of prestige, said Dr Momen hinting that media in Bangladesh are giving utmost coverage on the foreign envoys remarks about internal matter of Bangladesh.

Responding to a question the minister also said that in the US, no official has raised the issue of the Al Jazeera report on Bangladesh army chief.

Terming the Al Jazeera report a ‘mere drama’ the foreign minister said that if the content of the report would have been true, the government would have definitely investigated into it.

He said that during his meeting with the UN secretary general he urged him offer some senior positions like ‘Force Commander’ or Deputy Force Commander’ to the Bangladeshi peacekeepers.

The minister also requested former US secretary of state John Kerry to ensure the creation of $100 billion dollar climate fund by the UN to compensate climate vulnerable countries.

Replying to a question he said during the visit, a state department official approached him to involve Bangladesh in the Indo-Pacific security alliance.

“But I have told the official that Bangladesh is not interested in security alliance. We are interested in economy and infrastructure development issues of the Indo-Pacific, not the security. We are pretty secured” he added.

The minister informed that he urged the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to deport Rashed Chowdhury, the fugitive killer of Bangabandhu.

“I told them that since they talk big about human rights, they should not provide shelter to a killer and should deport him as they had deported another fugitive killer Mohiuddin. I also referred the deportation of a wanted person by the US to Israel.”

In response Mr Blinken said that the issue was being handled by the office of the Attorney General so the US government had nothing to do about it, the minister added.

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