Bangladesh govt backtracks from trailing journalists abroad

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has withdrawn its order instructing missions to watch activities of Bangladeshi journalists travelling abroad.

Published : 19 May 2017, 08:01 PM
Updated : 19 May 2017, 09:23 PM

A Bangladeshi diplomat posted in a Western country confirmed the withdrawal of the notice to in the early hours of Saturday.

The diplomat requesting anonymity said the foreign ministry sent a notice withdrawing the previous order on Friday.

However, the foreign ministry did not issue any media statement in Dhaka and officials at the External Publicity Wing could not be immediately reached for comments.

The foreign ministry earlier instructed all the foreign missions to monitor the activities of the Bangladeshi journalists travelling abroad and report back to Dhaka.

The External Publicity Wing also sent the instruction to the media on Wednesday.

It said the decision had been taken on the recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee on the foreign affairs.

The 20th meeting of the parliamentary watchdog viewed that “any Bangladeshi journalist travelling should be monitored and accordingly will have to be reported back to Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ascertain whether their activities are against the interest of the country”.

“The parliamentary standing committee has expressed its concern over the 'harmful activities' of some Bangladeshi journalists abroad which send out wrong information on Bangladesh to the international arena”.

The foreign ministry had instructed missions to "take up the matter seriously so that they can identify untoward activities by any Bangladeshi journalist, whenever travelling to the respective host countries."

The foreign ministry, however, did not clarify what type of negative activities journalists carry out abroad.

But, following the parliamentary watchdog meeting, it was reported that the issue came up following recent visits of Bangladeshi journalists to Pakistan at the invitation of Islamabad.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher