The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a circulation to all the Bangladeshi foreign missions, asking them to monitor the activities of the Bangladeshi journalists travelling abroad.
According to the circular issued on Wednesday, the foreign missions will have to monitor the activities of the journalists and report back to Dhaka but it did not clarify the mechanism of surveillance.
Meanwhile, the External Publicity Wing of Foreign Ministry also sent the instruction to media.
However, while talking to the media on Thursday, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said he has no idea about the circular.
The minister said: “It is our duty to watch over everyone who travels abroad but that does not mean that we are bringing them under any control mechanism.
“You [journalists] should support it, since it intends to maintain our national interest.”
He also termed Bangladeshi media as independent media.
Lutfor Rahman, Director General of External Publicity Wing of the Foreign Ministry, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Journalists always work in favour of the country and the circular was not intended to be against journalists.
“It was not deicided by our ministry.”
The decision to monitor journalists was taken based on the recommendation of the parliamentary standing committee on Wednesday.
In its 20th meeting, the standing committee recommended that the journalists should be monitored so that if their activities are found to be against the interest of the country, then mission can report it here.
The committee has expressed its concern over the spread of wrong information about Bangladesh in the international arena due to the negative activities of the journalists travelling abroad.
A Foreign Ministry source said that the issue came up following the recent visit of Bangladeshi journalists to Pakistan at the invitation of Islamabad.