Barrister Moudud Ahmed , Minister for Law ,Justice and Parliamentary Affairs , said that democracy and fundamentalism cannot exist together. In an exclusive interview with VOA , Bangla Service the minister said that democratically elected government in Bangladesh cannot be termed fundamentalist. When asked about ruling coalition comprising a couple of fundamentalist parties, the minister said that they had their own manifestoes but did not elaborate on this point.
When his attention was drawn to a number of sedition charges brought against journalists and politicians in Bangladesh , he explained that in Bangladeshi constitution sedition means anti-government activities rather than anti-state. In this context he mentioned that the two foreign journalists were arrested for impersonation rather than for collecting information. When asked about the harassmant of journalist Salim Samad's family in the hands of Bangladeshi police and the failure of the police to produce Priscilla Raj , the lady who helped the Channel -4 journalist, in the court , the minister said the court would take necessary action , if and when needed.
He reiterated the government's viewpoint that foreign journalists are free to visit the country and collect information.
[ To listen to this report , click on 1600 UTC ]