No law enactment undermining HR concept: Dhaka tells EU

Dhaka, July 6 (UNB) – Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has assured the European Union (EU) that Bangladesh will never enact or implement any law that may contravene the concept of human rights.

He explained that the government of Bangladesh is always alert to prevent the misuse of any law, and hoped that the media guidelines of Bangladesh will become more streamlined and fit-for-purpose with EU support.

The issues of media, online news platforms, the role of social media and the related challenges were discussed during his meeting with senior officials of the European Commission, the EU’s politically independent executive arm, in Brussels on Friday.

The EU officials, terming Bangladesh as a “fast-developing country” praised the present government for creating the congenial environment for thriving media presence, according to Bangladesh Embassy in Brussels.

The Information Minister explained to the EU how during the last one decade the media of Bangladesh has opened up, doubling the number of print media, tripling the number of TV channels, along with the thousands to applications under process for registration of online news platforms.

He urged the EU authorities to share their best practices and guidelines for the print as well as online media with Bangladesh, so that there can be a win-win situation.

The EU officials assured the minister of providing all possible support and cooperation to Bangladesh for further strengthening its print, electronic and online media platforms.

They stressed the importance of ensuring that freedom of media and freedom of expression are not curtailed by any law or regulation that is originally meant to protect institutions’ and individuals’ rights.

It was agreed at the meeting that EU would share its different relevant guidelines or rules in the area of media with the government of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Ambassador in Brussels Mohammed Shahdat Hossain attended the meeting, while from the EU side, senior officials from offices dealing with foreign affairs, strategic communication and human rights joined it.

In the evening, the expatriate community members of Chattogram living in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands organised a traditional mezban in honour of the Information Minister.

While addressing the event, the minister urged them to work for Bangladesh from abroad.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal and Bangladesh Ambassador to Belgium were present.