Foreign ministry summons heads of 13 foreign missions

Foreign ministry

The foreign ministry has summoned the heads of 13 foreign missions – 11 countries including the US and the European Union - in Dhaka over a joint statement that they issued over the attack on Ashraful Hossen aka Hero Alom who was an MP candidate in the by-polls of Dhaka-17 constituency.

The chiefs of these 13 foreign missions will be informed on Wednesday about the government’s dissatisfaction on their activities.

Diplomatic sources confirmed the matter to Prothom Alo on Tuesday.

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The by-election to the Dhaka-17 constituency was held on 17 July. A group of people wearing boat badge beat independent candidate Hero Alom outside a polling station in Banani minutes before the voting ended.

The next day, United Nation’s resident coordinator Gwyn Lewis tweeted expressing concern over the attack on Hero Alom.

On 19 July, diplomats of 12 countries including the US and the UK and a visiting delegation of the European Union strongly condemned the attack on Hero Alom.

In response, Dhaka summoned Sheldon Yett, the acting resident coordinator of UN in Dhaka, and expressed discontent over the tweet.

The government also warned him saying they expect the UN can restraint itself from making such comment in public on the internal affairs of Bangladesh in future.

On 19 July, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen expressed anger over the joint statement issued by the foreign missions saying, "Do they issue statements when people are killed in America? Does the United Nations do the same? Have they ever said why people are killed in America?"

Summoning foreign diplomats by a host country on various issues is a usual process. Bangladesh has summoned several foreign diplomats on different issues from time to time. However, Bangladesh did not summon any UN representative in the recent past.