Diplomats briefed on grenade attack verdict, Digital Security Act

1365

DHAKA, Oct 14, 2018 (BSS) – Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Minister for Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq today briefed diplomats on verdict of August 21st Grenade Attack and recently passed Digital Security Act-2018 here today.

The briefing was held at the State Guest House Padma in the afternoon, a foreign ministry press release said.

During the briefing, the foreign minister narrated the incidents that took place on 21 August 2004 in a rally organised by the then opposition party Awami League where terrorists sponsored by the then government of Begum Khaleda Zia hurled grenades on the Sheikh Hasina, the President of Awami League and the then opposition leader.

The attack killed 24 individuals, including leader of Bangladesh Mahila Awami League, Awami League women’s front, Ivy Rahman and injured many.

Ali informed the diplomats how the then government interfered in the investigation and derailed the entire legal procedures.

The judgment has finally been announced after 14 years of arduous journey and the convicts have been awarded with punishment, he said.

The attack was planned and executed under direct supervision of Tarique Rahman, son of the then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia who now remains fugitive, he said, adding Tarique was sentenced to life-term imprisonment over the grenade attack.

The Foreign Minister referred to the European Parliament’s Resolutions of 2014 and the recent verdicts of Canadian Federal Court which declared BNP as an entity that engages in terrorism and violent extremism.

The Law Minister stated that the trial has gone through due process of law and a total of 225 witnesses were cross-checked during the trial.

The accused were allowed to exercise all rights guaranteed to them under the law, he added.

The diplomats were also briefed about the newly passed digital security Act.

Foreign Minister, referring to the provisions of ICCPR and European Convention Human Rights, explained why such law is necessary to ensure public safety and order.

Over the concerns raised by certain members of diplomatic corps, the Law Minister informed that the law has been finalized after intensive consultation with the editors’ council and other journalist groups as well as diplomats.

Huq reiterated that the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has no intention to curb freedom of expression which lays foundation of its democratic governance and the law would rather ensure people’s right to safe digital space.

The diplomats appreciated the briefing and expressed their eagerness to engage with the government in future.