13 foreign envoys summoned to meet foreign ministry officials at 3pm today

The heads of 13 foreign missions are scheduled to hold a meeting with top foreign ministry officials this afternoon as the government yesterday summoned them over their joint statement condemning the attack on Hero Alom during the Dhaka-17 by-election.

The meeting is scheduled to be held at the state guesthouse Padma at 3:00pm, Rear Admiral (retd) Khurshed Alam, secretary, maritime affairs unit of foreign ministry, told The My News over telephone.

He also said that a media briefing is likely to be held at the Foreign Service Academy in the city at 4:00pm.

The heads of 13 missions in Dhaka will be informed today about the government’s dissatisfaction.

The 13 missions are the US, the UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the European Union.

In the joint statement published by the US embassy in Dhaka on July 19, the missions called upon the government to conduct a full investigation and take legal steps against the perpetrators of the attack on Alom.

“Violence has no place in the democratic process. We call for a full investigation and accountability for the perpetrators. Everyone involved in the upcoming elections should ensure that they are free, fair, and peaceful,” the statement read.

Alom, who ran as an independent in the Dhaka-17 by-polls, was physically assaulted outside a polling centre in the capital’s Banani on July 17.

On July 20, the government summoned acting UN resident coordinator Sheldon Yett to discuss a Twitter post expressing concern over the attack on Alom.

The tweet was posted by Gwyn Lewis, UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh, on July 19. Unicef representative Sheldon is serving as the acting UN resident coordinator as Lewis is away from Bangladesh.

Lewis in the tweet said, “The UN in Bangladesh is concerned over the attack on independent MP candidate Ashraful Alom during the Dhaka-17 by-polls. The fundamental human right of everyone to participate in elections without violence should be guaranteed and protected.”

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