Friday, April 20, 2007

No fundamental rights in Bangladesh - Interim Government

Dhaka, Apr 19 : A day after imposing ban on former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's entry into her own country, an influential adviser to the army-backed interim administration said, "there has been no fundamental rights under the state of emergency in the country". "Journalists should understand one thing that the country is under the state of emergency. None of us has any fundamental rights... The country is heading for a difficult situation," Mainul Hosein, the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Adviser, told reporters on Thursday. He made these comments when journalists asked him about press advisories asking the media not to publish or broadcast Sheikh Hasina's interview aired by BBC Bangla radio service on Wednesday, the day the interim government imposed a ban on the former Prime Minister's entry into the country. Hasina was at that time in the United States and has now arrived in London on her way to Dhaka, as she has vowed to come back home defying the ban. Another adviser, M A Matin, said that the government would take action if she comes back home defying the ban. In her BBC interview Hasina said that she would come back as per her schedule and face the charges that the government brought against her. Meanwhile, a High Court bench asked the government on Thursday to explain whether the immediate past prime minister, Khaleda Zia, was under house arrest. Newspapers have been reporting over the couple of days that the Zia had agreed on a negotiation to go into exile, preferably in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.She might be forced to leave the country at anytime, according to intelligence sources. A section in the government, taking the advancement of the state of emergency, has been interfering press freedom. Asked about verbal instructions to the press by the government's press information department and intelligence agencies imposing restriction on printing some news items, Mainul, also in charge of the information ministry, expressed ignorance about it. "I do not know whether any intelligence agency has telephoned any media office imposing restrictions on any news items," he said. He, however, defended the agencies saying if any agency discussed about some news items and gave advice on the particular issue, there was nothing wrong with it. "Anybody can give advice as there is nothing wrong in it. It is the reality which the journalists should bear in mind that the country is under a state of emergency," Mainul added saying that the freedom signifies responsibility, which must be cared for. The adviser said, everyone should realise that it was a crisis time."There is little opportunity to live normal lives. It is true that we are enjoying freedom, but this is not such freedom as in normal situation," explained Mainul.

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