Foreign ministry denounces int'l coverage of journo Shams's arrest
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly criticised the international media and institutions for their "false and fabricated" coverage of the arrest of Prothom Alo Savar Correspondent Shamsuzzaman Shams.
An official press release issued on Saturday (1 April) reads, "It has been brought to the notice of the Government of Bangladesh that few international media and institutions are claiming that a journalist in Bangladesh, named as Mr. Shamsuzzaman, has been arrested as he wrote about 'cost of living in Bangladesh.'
"This information is totally false and fabricated. This journalist was arrested because of 'child abuse' and 'child exploitation.'"
Denouncing international reports that claimed the journalist was arrested for writing about the "cost of living in Bangladesh, the ministry said, "Bangladesh government is committed to upholding freedom of expression for all its citizens and the media."
The ministry claimed that reports on rising living costs in Bangladesh are regularly covered since the beginning of the Ukraine War, while the journalist was arrested for offering Tk10 to a nine-year-old boy and then expressing his own views in the name of the child.
The foreign ministry also blamed journalist Shams for trying to undermine the independence of the country, saying "These acts are surely tantamount to punishable crimes."
"The Government of Bangladesh, as a party to the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC), would not tolerate any such act of abusing children.
"The Government would also not accept any such effort aimed at maligning the great Independence Day of the nation," foreign ministry furthered.