FM slams foreign envoys’ comments over writer’s death

Concerns expressed by foreign envoys over the death of a writer in jail surprised foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

He said death in jail is a common phenomenon in every country even in the US, and that Bangladesh media should stop publishing ‘this sort of nuisance’.

Dr Momen was replying to questions at his office while briefing reporters on his recent US visit.

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

“If a Bangladeshi envoy expresses concern over custodial death in a foreign country that would not get any coverage in the media of the respective country.”

“Our media should have a sense of prestige,” said the minister.

 Responding to a question he 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’, he said that if the content of the report was true, the government would definitely investigate it.

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

 The minister also requested Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry to ensure the creation of a $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 a security alliance. We are interested in the economy and infrastructure development issues of the Indo-Pacific, not the security. We are pretty secured.”

 The minister informed that during his meeting with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, he urged him 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 to the deportation of a wanted person by the US to Israel.”

 In response, 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.