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Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the freedom of the press in Bangladesh and its implications for the observance of human rights by the Government of that country. (111623)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) on 27 November 2006, Official Report, columns 460-461W.

The Constitution of Bangladesh gives the state wide powers under a state of emergency, which can be used to restrict freedom of speech. We nevertheless look to the caretaker Government to observe human rights standards for all citizens. A vibrant and diverse media plays an important role in democratic life in the country.