UN spokesperson on Khaleda Zia’s jail

“We have expressed our concern”

“We have expressed our concern”

UN correspondent, Feb 16 (Just News): Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric said the United Nations is following the situation very closely. We have expressed our concern, we hoped that like any country, this is our principle position that, a climate could be created where free and fair election could take place.

Stéphane came up with this comment in reply to a question Bangladesh political situation at the noon briefing held at the UN Headquarter on Friday.

At the briefing Bangladesh journalist Mushfiqul asked “As you know, main opposition leader of Bangladesh, Begum Khaleda Zia, is in prison. Millions of people demanding her release with peaceful demonstration, according to AFP and others' media report. The media reported that the ruling authority put her in prison to disqualify the upcoming election, that delegation from the EU and diplomats from the US and other developing countries of Bangladesh already met her party leaders to know about Begum Khaleda Zia's update. What action has been taken from the Secretary-General to release Begum Zia as she is facing politically motivated cases?”

In reply Stéphane said “I think, as you know, we have said that we're following this situation very closely. We've expressed our concern and we would hope that the… like in any country, a… this is our principal position, that a climate could be created where free and fair elections could take place.”

In reply to another question of this journalist on Rohingya repatriation process to their homeland, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General said the UN’s position is very clear. Return of refuges need to be voluntarily.

Highlighting the visit of Myanmar home minister in Dhaka, Mushfiqul asked “Just one follow-up on Rohingya. UN's position is very clear that that the Rakhine state… the situation is not comfortable to return back, but just today, Myanmar foreign… home minister visiting Bangladesh, and Bangladesh authority has handed over a list of 1,673 families of 8,032 Rohingya to Myanmar to start the first phase of repatriation of the displaced people living in Bangladesh to their homeland in Rakhine. So, what is your reaction?”

In reply Stéphane said “We’re not privy to those conversations. Our position is clear is that the return of refugees need to be voluntary”.

(Just News/ys/0250hr)