Bangladesh: Press Freedom

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 27th April 2016.

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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Bangladesh about (1) the arrest of Shafik Rehman on 16 April, and (2) the recent harassment of other journalists in Bangladesh; and what was the outcome of those representations.

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Consular officials in Dhaka have registered the British Government’s interest in Mr Rehman’s case with the Director, Consular Affairs at the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and requested consular access to Mr Rehman. Our High Commissioner in Dhaka raised this case with the MFA’s Director General EU.

We have made clear our concerns about freedom of expression in Bangladesh, most recently in a press statement about the murder of Nazimuddin Samad. In that statement the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), restated the Government’s position that the right to freedom of expression and open debate in Bangladesh must be upheld.

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