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tv   Conflict Zone  Deutsche Welle  April 8, 2021 10:30am-11:01am CEST

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trace began. the tallest biggest and the most beautiful structures. is how massive churches are created. the drills starts april 12th on d. w. . and show you want to talk good things about your country because that's what you're paid to do every question you level off you have bunch of 3 that they didn't mention is bangladesh in the habit of giving pardon to convicted murderers the certain 50 of the rich you are. in many ways it's a fair price legally for years now the government of bangladesh has been criticized around the world for its human rights record but its reputation received another jolt this month with the release of a new documentary alleging high level bribery and corruption and my guest this week
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from back out is gallery's me foreign affairs advisor to the country's prime minister the movie authority stop denying the truth about the repression they've been inflicted and clean up their act. now here is me welcome to comfort zone thank you your country has become a byword for egregious human rights abuses which your government routinely did noise as an academic who's used to dealing in truth why do you serve a government that seems to have so little regard for that commodity and with the sebastian i think this question needs to be qualified. when you say yes. rights violations might pay. explain
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that hoover's human rights is a very large. word well let me remind specific then let me be more specific arbitrary detention torture in force disappearances extrajudicial executions all of which your government is accused of by the un human rights groups around asia human rights watch amnesty international the committee against torture that's what i had and i well. i wish i could accept the allegation in it entirety i will run be denied that there have not been instances of. some disappearances. when you talk about torture there is no documented evidence of. the best of my. knowledge when committee against torture is certain
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that it's carried out and routinely it's received report after report that it's carried out routinely by your security forces and you would really would have us believe that they've all got it wrong and where bangladesh i would not i would not deny it and i would not say that they have got it wrong but i do also want to say that as far as the government is concerned culture is illegal and we try to make sure that carter doesn't take you know why i was objecting to the way you posed the question with a sebastian is because so many good things have happened in bangladesh. could a bangladesh is one of the spectacular successes of development yes and you're very good at promoting the successes economic successes for in front of your country and the like but that's not what i have come
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a long way around i'm not what i'm asking you about i'm asking you about the things that have gone wrong in your country your government for instance claims 0 tolerance of corruption when the boss of transparency international bangladesh himself summed up the extent of corruption when he accused the government of going after only what he called the small fish the activities of corrupt leaders at the top are beyond our imagination he said we don't see repast investigation or effective legal action against any of those big players so so much for the the promise of 0 tolerance for corruption. if you if you recall about 6 to 9 months ago there was a. big. action against various corrupt individuals and organizations many of them have been arrested police investigation is taking place. the anti-corruption commission is an inquiry. at the end of the
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day we have to follow additional process and this is a time consuming process i am not saying our process is perfect i have got to say that there isn't sometimes a political. consideration also go into it these things are true but where i object and sebastian you are such an experienced. is that the great you read the picture it's all one side if you want you will really work in the end up getting the wrong impression that well if i'm not i mean painting the picture i'm relying on reports from internationally respected organize a sions like human rights watch amnesty international committee again after i was active in that it is allowing me to a balance that picture with the reality as it happened on the ground yes which is
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which which you are doing but but all of this has paved the way for a high profile documentary which was released this month by the al-jazeera network which alleged shocking levels of corruption among senior officials of your state and your government's immediate reaction was to brand the film false defamatory and the smear you didn't even bother to investigate 1st that's not the sponsor banani government is that. inquiry is taking place it is being inquired but let me really also. ask you the title of that documentary was all the prime minister's men and we were told that it would expose corruption around the prime minister lew relievedly that documentary succeeded in doing that was there is a single evidence which intimidated the prime minister in the alleged.
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corruption i mean this list is where i think as sensible academics and journalists we should stand back and ask ourselves what was the evidence. given to incriminate the prime minister's involvement and yet this all documents this was big. as to show how corrupt the regime got to reach we had some serious looking looking at the film which was produced by al jazeera he was a television team that was able to locate 2 high level fugitives from justice convict. whose elder brother just happens to be your serving chief of the army general as this op met apparently your annoying forstmann couldn't find his brothers who were on the run but they did that's pretty embarrassing for usenet certainly but on the other hand again i'm not going to be defending everything but
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the way you are putting the person to me i flew it is. a person be judged guilty because of the guilt of his brother i think this is a question we need to us now if the brother has. if. the brother in. else has brothers who invaded justice to avoid. further his criminal activities this accusation would be extremely extremely. valid what happened was long long before this gentleman. became the army chief all right well and let's just look at some of the details which came out in the film about the general general aftermath brothers. 2 of them and this and harris were found guilty of
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involvement in the 1996 murder of a member of a rival party and both absconded from justice and went on the run now 3rd brother joseph was also convicted and spent more than 10 years on death row magically just before his brother as he's was promoted to head of the army joseph gets a presidential pardon how did that happen is bangladesh in the habit of giving pardons to convicted murderers to gun down their opponents on the street in cold blood is that what you did you give him a president. sebastian the certainty with which you are thinking in many ways is a surprisingly and you have length the appointment of army chief and his brothers released. into one school let me remind you there is one hour a doctor no no no no no mr sebastian little one for you because you have to be pretty well connected to get a powered in for cold blood let me let me give you the facts then you draw your
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conclusion please let me give you the fact that the brother in question has. about 20 years in prison that is if. law in the country that after serving a certain amount of years you may be given for we're ought clemency by the president all this happened long before months and months before even the vacancy brother was appointed or arose it happened completely separately this man has 35 years left in the armed forces worked his way up. with a fairly clean record so why should be maligned. and link
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link these 2 stories together i would like you to look at this time i would like to look at the timeline of the 2 events these are 6 months apart all right ok talk to me 3 the point is also which the film brought out is that your army chief knew perfectly well where his 2 other brothers were the ones that were on the run and apparently didn't tell the relevant to authorities is not worth investigating it would be averted investigated but please also you know as much as i do would this gentleman outside the jurisdiction of bangladesh and yet if this information had been available we would have tried to have extracted protected them and provided we had an extradition treaty with this book and in fact in many cases we have done and there is no reason to believe that we would not have
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done and you are quite right. that if this had published and had been available to the government the government would have taken action but i hope this is all just too close to the higher echelons of power are too dangerous to delve into in the fact that nobody in your country wants to delve too deeply into suspicions of high level corruption do that too many people disappear and end up dead if they say the wrong thing and ask the wrong questions don't say a fact of life in your country no dodo this is the best years. we we are proud. of it we have proud of our liberal democratic system we are proud that we have a prime minister. who has. very low. tolerance of corruption our of course is a family under civil control and therefore to say that.
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corruption is connected at the high level well how do you how is it how is it then that in a state which is supposed to have a functioning justice system that these 2 fugitive brothers of your army chief anniston harris convicted murderers actually are reported killed return to tackle in broad daylight in 2019 to celebrate a family wedding there are many fugitive killers who can shop in a big society wedding mingle with the president dignity unless they have protection right at the top you know that as well however i we are both you are absolutely right if it was known to anyone that this gentleman have returned to bangladesh. immediately they would have been apprehended there is no. question about it but they were pictured at the wedding
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doctrine let let let let let us rami military club to convict murderers uncles of the bridegroom happily celebrating with everyone else we at telescoping something that happened over 25 years. into a single incident the the brothers had committed a crime in 1906. long before gen and this had even joined the army as a cadets we now. go forward 25 years later and we are saying that these 2 men came back to bangladesh. and if they did and as the photographs had yes this was absolutely a great failure of our. guest just
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administrator and the. immigration police in the airport that is the question about that but you will also have to understand that these people had acquired different pass. which unless it was known to the government unless that was on the watch this it is quite easy for them to have slipped in along with thousands of other people who come in and wow i am not running for one moment suggesting that this has not been a failing that the government is or has done of the criminal. that's arisen. in a democracy with the kind of free press that you've claimed exists in bangladesh all these allegations from al-jazeera would be plastered over the newspapers in the broadcast media but hands of a something that the dhaka tribune sought to explain when they wrote to its readers
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the reason for our silence it said is simple the current state of media and defamation law makes it unwise for any bangladeshi media house to venture into any kind of meaningful comment on the controversy that's it isn't that you have come out the media into submission and muzzled it says become afraid of a time shadow are you proud of that. if if it were. true as you say i would be ashamed of it but let me tell you what the truth is yes are you saying the paper is lying or are you saying the newspapers lloyd's list let me not. yet and don't let me give you the explanations indeed there is a thing called digital security act it is to prevent. violent
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rumors and inciting of people through the. digital platform this law unfortunately which our government inherited was i think the act was passed in 1906 our government devised it and it is now called the digital security act but sadly we have now our learned that some of the words a very loose and very. which leaves it open to abuse but jump from there to say that the press has been muscle to say that there is no freedom of press in bangladesh let me just tell you there are probably 3 over 6060 daily newspapers been published from the low
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countries well under control. rather under their companies i understand amnesty international said that in the 1st 9 months of last year more than $800.00 cases were filed under this act with the lease language that you talk about with many of the most prominent editors and senior journalists increasingly targeted 800 cases in this with using this law which your government apparently inherited your government doesn't seem to have any reservations about using this law does it mean to admit that you have is nothing but a weapon silence critics and suppress dissent that's the truth of it if i know i would accept your criticism and i would have accepted your allegations had you asked the human rights watch of the $800.00 or so. and i'm taking your freedom as you as you gave it to me who were arrested how many of them
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are very german you know you you have used a broad picture of 800 how we faced a serious a terrorist attacks in this country we had to fight to fight hard against terrorism how many of those 800 were actually. how many of those 800. criminals who incited violence. activity without differentiating you have given me the film figure of. please i challenge you to look at that. and tell me how many were actually journalists and what i can i can't break i can break down some of those figures for you because human rights groups are pretty much united in their condemnation of your government's crackdown on free speech especially during the current trend that make human rights watch said you've arrested journalists artists students doctors
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political opposition members and activists who spoke out against the government's response to the pandemic or otherwise criticize the ruling party last june you even arrested a 15 year old boy for allegedly defaming the prime minister on facebook the child was sentenced to time in a juvenile detention all right thanks let me now. this question as as as clearly as i possibly can you have been telling you are telling your viewers that during this period of pandemic the government did all sorts of horrible things. have you told your ordeals that bangladesh is one of the few in the world compared to your own and in the u.k. the united states or anywhere else in the world where we have acted spendable
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really well with our limited resources we have one of the lowest death rates in the world we have the highest rate of recovered we have it and that our hospital to provide. one of these facts mentioned you have picked up 15 example or so i'm sure you want to change the subject doctor is wrong i'm not sure you want to talk good things about your country because that's what you're paid to do that's why you're not government that's why i'm from brazil. why is lie i why i'm asking do you turn a blind eye to what the un committee against torture has been calling the widespread and routine commission of torture and ill treatment you passed an act in 2013 supposedly outlawing torture but 6 years later only 17 cases had been filed against security personnel and not
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a single one had been completed by 6 years later not one in 6 years had been greeted is that a proud achievement for government it is that allegedly is cracking down on torture it isn't this it it's a great. well let me again think you're right in the sense when the state that is in 7. x. number of. cases of target has been filed and none of them yes. i take your statement to be a tree and i will agree that this is not a very. good. record but the truth of the matter is we get past the law. the truth of the matter is we are trying to build a bill with it and where i am constantly objecting not because you think i'm doing this because i and i'll use it i'm paid.
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to do this i might turn the same thing to you and say is it not right that you are you are being paid simply to make this attack without putting it into broad wide on every question you have asked so far you have gone straight into the negative mentions even and then you said very clearly that all of this horrible thing that happened please tell me another country in the whole wide world with just the pandemic as effectively as our government. surveys it's very good tactic to change the subject but i don't want to leave it because you said your government is taking action against human rights abuses are is it time to take action against members of the so called rapid action the tally in that you have because they the un says its members have been credibly alleged to have
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committed torture arbitrary arrests and acknowledged detention disappearances and extrajudicial killings of people in their custody you tell me about the good things your country has done but i am not embarrassed with the actions that this rapid action but alan has been carrying out in the name of your government your government is killing me against killing it. let me say with all orders and humility and embarrassment that the some of that is that you have just. stated are true that have big instances of that which nobody in the government in his or her right mind defend but the and lose what you like john to the insurance or to occur there wasn't a memorandum on anything about that. with mr sylvester let me finish you have asked
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me a question let me finish answering what you did not see in your. question is how many of those. rapid battalion police force have been removed from services how many of them are under investigation and how many of them have been charged this was not mentioned but this is the role of the government that when it finds out that something had the biggest while ation of human rights or law has taken place they must get to the bottom i don't think we are all of us. but i do resent not being given the credit for the efforts that we have. all right talked to gary's me in good to have you in conflict thank you very much indeed. thank you miss us about you know been fucked up and.
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