Saturday, November 16, 2019 | ePaper

Over Abrar statement

UN Resident Chief summoned

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Staff Reporter :
The Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh (BD) has summoned the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo and expressed the government's dissatisfaction at the statement issued by the UN relating to the death of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) student Abrar Fahad.
Nahida Sobhan, Director General of the UN Wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,   summoned Seppo in her office on Sunday and made the government's position clear to her.
The UN envoy arrived at the Foreign Ministry office around 11:00am in Dhaka on Sunday .
"Yes, I did have a meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo and discussed various issues, including the Abrar killing," said Nahida Sobhan.
However, a senior official of the Ministry said that the government found it inappropriate for the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator to issue a statement over the issue.
"Mia Seppo said that the murder had no links with freedom of expression and of the government action that followed after the killing. It was also made clear that the government considers such statement as an interference into the country's internal affairs," the senior official said.
On October 7, Abrar, a second-year student of BUET's EEE Department, was beaten to death allegedly by workers of Bangladesh Chhatra League in the University's Sher-e-Bangla Hall.
On October 9, the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh issued a statement over Abrar's murder, saying, "Freedom of speech is a human right, and nobody should be harassed, tortured or killed for exercising it."
The UN Bangladesh noted steps taken by the authorities to apprehend alleged perpetrators, the statement read.
It "encourages independent investigations that should lead to justice being served in a fair process, and measures to ensure prevention of further incidents," according to the statement.
It also mentioned that campus violence in Bangladesh has over the years affected and claimed too many lives, with apparent impunity for those bearing responsibility.
Earlier on October 10, the Ministry summoned British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert Chatterton Dickson over a Facebook post regarding the killing.
The British High Commission in Dhaka, in a Facebook post on its verified page, said they are shocked and saddened at the events at BUET.
"Shocked and saddened by events at BUET. The UK stands unconditionally for free speech, media freedom, human rights and the rule of law," the message read.

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