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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Sweden-Bangladesh ties in hot water after journo kicked out of PM Hasina’s Stockholm photo op

Update : 03 Jul 2017, 04:59 PM
Bangladesh ambassador to Sweden was summoned by the Nordic country’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday to explain an incident of harassing a Bangladesh-born Swedish journalist by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s security detail during the premier’s recent trip to Stockholm. On Friday, the journalist, Anwar Hossain, while being interviewed by the Radio Sweden, claimed he was literally tossed out from the official photo op, taking place at Stockholm’s Rosenbad building, of the Bangladesh premier and her Swedish counterpart, Stefan Löfven, by people protecting Sheikh Hasina, just because “he looked like a Bangladeshi and they did not want any Bangladeshi without state press credentials around.”Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, left, and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meet at the government building Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden on June 15, 2017 Reuters Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, left, and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meet at the government building Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden on June 15, 2017 ReutersAnwar went further in claiming that the security men forced him to delete the pictures he had captured on his smartphone.File photo of Golam Sarwar, Bangladesh ambassador in Sweden Radio Sweden File photo of Golam Sarwar, Bangladesh ambassador in Sweden Radio SwedenRadio Sweden introduced Anwar as a “dissident journalist who fled to Sweden after being falsely accused of murder in Bangladesh.” It also reported that the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has expressed regret over the incident. In a failed attempt to water down the controversy, Bangladesh’s envoy in Stockholm, Golam Sarwar, on Thursday, told the Radio Sweden on record that he believed that the Swedish Foreign Ministry's security and media officers had been involved in the decision to force journalist Anwar Hossain to delete photos. Officials at the Swedish Foreign Ministry were not happy with Sarwar’s statement. “It is extremely important to stress that what the ambassador [Golam Sarwar] said was not right. We are going to ask the ambassador to come in tomorrow [Saturday] and will ask how he managed to get that impression,” Patric Nilsson, a press officer of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, said while talking to the Radio Sweden later on Thursday.File photo of Anne Ramberg, general secretary of Swedish Bar Association Radio Sweden File photo of Anne Ramberg, general secretary of Swedish Bar Association Radio SwedenThe Swedish Bar Association and the country’s premier union of journalists, Journalistförbundet, however, do not believe that the incident of ejecting Anwar is a small one. Strongly criticising Sweden Foreign office officials for failing to protect Anwar, Anne Ramberg, general secretary of the Swedish Bar Association, called on her government to demand an apology from the Bangladeshi envoy to Sweden. In a letter addressed to Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and issued on June 30, the Journalistförbundet’s chairman Jonas Nordling expressed frustration over the incident and asked his government to distance itself from the “violation of Anwar’s right to work as a journalist.”
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