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  • Dhaka Tue, 14 JULY 2020,

‘Unfortunate, disappointing’: FM on diplomats’ media freedom remarks

Rtv online desk
|  09 May 2020, 00:00 | Update : 09 May 2020, 09:56
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Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday criticized statements posted on social media by some diplomats on media freedom terming those remarks "unfortunate, disappointing and unacceptable".

"They could have told us following diplomatic norms if they’ve anything to say," he told UNB expressing his displeasure over their remarks.

Dr Momen said he spent long time in the United States and he had never seen such an approach from diplomats there.

"We’re running our country in our own way. We know what to do. I’m very upset. This is very disappointing. This is very regrettable. This is not good at all," he said.

The Foreign Minister said the freedom cannot be honored unless there is a responsibility.

He said Bangladesh would have been happy had they said something on cancellations of RMG export orders or safety and support for Bangladeshi expatriates living abroad and ensuring their jobs for at least six months.

Dr Momen expressed displeasure for making similar remarks on a particular issue when the world, including Bangladesh, is facing enormous challenges due to COVID-19.

The Foreign Minister also voiced annoyance for giving such coverage by some media outlets on their remarks saying such practices are not seen elsewhere.

Dr Momen also questioned their motives behind such statements and apparently reminded the consequences of any deviation from diplomatic norms.

Seven envoys stationed in Dhaka on Thursday shared their thoughts on importance of the press and media freedom to ensure access to reliable and fact-based information in the current crisis of COVID-19.

The envoys shared the same sentiments in their tweets.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller tweeted, "Access to reliable and fact-based information provided by a free and independent media is vital to protecting public health everywhere. Amid the ongoing C-19 crisis, it is essential that freedom of expression is upheld and that the voices of journalists are not restrained."

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Dickson tweeted, "Access to reliable and fact-based information provided by a free and independent media is vital to protecting public health everywhere. Amid the C-19 crisis, it is even more important that freedom of expression is upheld and the media can do its job."

The US Ambassador, at a virtual launching program, said journalists should be free to pursue the truth without fear of censorship, harassment, or arrest as they perform this life-saving service.

"You are all genuine heroes. I love how health workers are publicly applauded in many countries. They should be, and so should journalists, everywhere. You deserve our immense gratitude," he said while delivering his speech at a virtual launching ceremony for 'Online COVID-19 Course for Doctors.'

The US Ambassador said they honour all journalists, everywhere, who have sacrificed their lives, freedom and personal well-being in pursuit of truth and justice.

Source: UNB

AH

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