• Thursday, Jan 23, 2020
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Foreign minister: Priya Saha will not be arrested

  • Published at 11:45 pm July 24th, 2019
File photo of Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen Collected

Responding to a query, the minister said he was not aware of the government’s stance, but his personal view is the matter will be ignored

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said, minority rights activist Priya Saha will not be prosecuted or arrested, for her remarks made to the US president, on alleged persecution of Hindus.

"I do not believe the government will arrest her," he said while speaking to a small group of reporters at his office on Wednesday.

Responding to a query, the minister said he was not aware of the government’s stance, but his personal view is that the matter will be ignored.

Saha, a director of rights organization Self-Help Association for Rural people through Education & Entrepreneurship (Sharee) which works with the Dalit community, is also an organizing secretary of the Hindu Buddhist Christian Oikya Parishad. 

She attended a meeting on religious freedom at the White House in Washington on July 17.

After identifying herself as a Bangladeshi national, Saha was seen urging Trump to help the religious minorities living in Bangladesh. She claimed that 37 million people of minority groups were “disappeared” from Bangladesh.

A video of her interaction with Trump caused an uproar on different social media platforms.

Also Read- Quader: Priya Saha should be given a chance to defend herself

The government condemned her statement for damaging the image of the country with the fabricated, and fictional allegations. 

The home minister said, she would be questioned on her statement upon her return to the country.

Later, a video of an interview she gave to a journalist, defending her statement, was posted on the YouTube channel of SHAREE.

Foreign Minister Momen said on Wednesday that the government delegation for the Washington religious freedom event consisted of himself, the Bangladesh envoy in US, director general of the foreign ministry’s Americas wing, director of the minister’s office.

“There were several other non-government representatives, who were invited by the US, and no clearance from the Bangladesh government is needed for that,” he added.

Momen said that an assistant secretary of the US state department came in touch with him over Saha’s remarks.

“I said the remarks were false, and fabricated. The US official told me that she (Saha) was in a panic, and asked whether she would be arrested for her comments. I said I do not think the government will arrest her, and she can ask the government for security. 

"A lot of people in Bangladesh say a lot of things but we do not arrest them,” he added.