Unfortunate, disappointing and unacceptable: FM on diplomats’ media freedom remarks

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Dhaka, May 08: Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday berated statements posted on social media by some diplomats on media freedom issue terming them “unfortunate, disappointing and unacceptable”.“They could have told us following diplomatic norms if they have 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 approach from diplomats there.

“We are running our country in our own way. I am very upset. This is very disappointing. This is very regrettable. This is not good at all,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said the freedom can not be honoured unless there is responsibility.

He said Bangladesh would have been happy if they could say 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.

Seven western envoys based 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 on Thursday shared the same sentiments in their tweets.

Earl Miller, the US ambassador, 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.”

UK High Commissioner 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.”