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The foreign ministry has categorically said that the report described BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia as under ‘house arrest’ which is completely misleading.

A statement from the ministry said Javed Patel was summoned at the desk of the ministry’s director general (West Europe and EU) Faiyaz Murshid Kazi.

The ministry said Bangladesh was frustrated by some issues on Bangladesh chapter of the rights report by the UK government.

The ministry has informed the acting UK high commissioner that Khaleda Zia’s jail term was suspended as per her brother’s application under the provision of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 and she was released on 20 March last year. The former prime minister was released on the condition that she cannot go abroad for treatment. The statement also mentioned that Khaleda Zia’s jail term was suspended for six months initially and the suspension was extended twice in September 2020 and March 2021.

The acting high commissioner was also asked to consult with the concerned authorities if they have any misconception on the Khaleda Zia issue.

Javed Patel was also asked not to make any derogatory and misleading remarks on the Bangladesh government or ruling Awami League.

The government also expressed concern over the report’s observation on Rohingyas.

Javed Patel assured the foreign ministry officials that they would covey Bangladesh’s concerns to his country.

He said that UK emphasises diversity in terms of partnership with Bangladesh.

Terming Bangladesh as a country of ‘matured democracy’, Javed Patel said the UK has not taken any sides with or against any political party in Bangladesh.

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