BNP on Friday strongly denounced the Foreign Ministry’s circular to monitor the activities of Bangladeshi journalists while traveling abroad, saying it has exposed the government’s Baksali attitude.
“Mass media and journalists are one of the basic pillars of democracy. Their freedom has now been squeezed in Bangladesh. Now their movement will be monitored. Only brutal Baksal government can behave in things like this. We strongly condemn and protest it,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He came up with the remarks while speaking at a human chain programme arranged by Swadhinata Forum in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding the release of BNP vice chairman Barkatullah Bulu and joint secretary general Khaiurul Kabir Khokan.
The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday instructed all of its foreign missions to monitor the activities of Bangladeshi journalists abroad and report to Dhaka.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, however, on Thursday said journalists will face no obstacle during their travel abroad and performing professional duties there.
Justifying the ministry’s move, he said it is necessary to monitor whether anybody is doing anything while travelling abroad that goes against the country’s image and interest.
Earlier, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Foreign Affairs observed that any Bangladeshi journalist travelling abroad should be monitored and reports in this regard be sent back to the foreign ministry if their activities are found against the country’s interests.
Accusing the government of imposing misrule on the country’s people, Rizvi said some people are raising their voice with courage against the regime. “For an instance, the Chief Justice is doing that. He has said the executive branch is interfering in judiciary.”
He alleged that the government is putting BNP leaders and activists behind the bar by impacting them in ‘false’ cases as it fears the party.
The BNP leader demanded the government release Bulu and Khokan immediately.