Has Voice of America become Islamist propaganda vessel?


While on November 22, 2023, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova during briefing accused US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter D. Haas of “grossly interfering in Bangladesh’s internal affairs”, and NYC-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has openly supported a Hamas activist and jihadist terrorist based in the United Kingdom, Voice of America (VOA) has also surprisingly emerged into propaganda vessel of Islamist and jihadist forces in Bangladesh.

In her statement, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said:

“We have spoken repeatedly about the attempts by the United States and its allies to influence internal political processes in Bangladesh, ostensibly under the banner of ensuring “transparency and inclusiveness” in the upcoming parliamentary elections there. Do you understand where the United States is and where Bangladesh is? Today I would like to return to this topic once again.

“Information has come to light regarding a meeting at the end of October between US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas and a high-ranking representative of the local opposition. They reportedly discussed plans to organize mass anti-government protests in the country during the meeting. In particular, the American Ambassador promised his interlocutor to provide information support in the event that the authorities used force against participants in “peaceful demonstrations”. These assurances were purportedly made on behalf of the embassies of the United States, Britain, Australia and several other countries.

“We witnessed a similar scenario ten years ago. And it worked. We remember how Victoria Nuland, the US Senior Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, handed out buns. Nothing other than buns. The meme was about cookies, but in fact they were buns, as well as leaflets, T-shirts, scarves, flags and other symbols, millions of copies of which materialized out of nowhere. Large quantities of food were provided for free, as long as people stayed in the squares and took part in what they labelled as illegal protests, but which is fact was an anti-constitutional coup. Someone did all this during the first and second Maidan. Where did these funds come from? Now it has become clear how it all works if we look at the example of Bangladesh.

“How can these actions of the American Ambassador to Bangladesh be regarded? They can be seen as nothing less than gross interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state on the part of Washington and its satellites, demonstrating open disregard for the norms and rules enshrined in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

“On our part, we have no doubts regarding the ability of the Bangladeshi authorities to hold the parliamentary elections scheduled for January 7, 2024, in full compliance with national legislation, independently, without the help of overseas well-wishers”.

In a November 24, 2023 article titled ‘Bangladesh Prepping for ‘Unfair’ Election, Say Analysts, Opposition’, Voice of America said: “Although the national poll body of Bangladesh has announced parliamentary elections will be held on January 7, opposition parties, rights activists and political analysts are saying that the situation in the country is not suitable for elections at all”.

In this article VOA quoted Julia Bleckner, Senior Asia researcher at Human Right Watch stating, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is rapidly filling Bangladesh’s prisons with her opponents ahead of the general election in January. In just the last month, Human Rights Watch has documented cases of enforced disappearance, torture, extrajudicial killings and mass arbitrary arrest of the political opposition.

“The ongoing systematic crackdown on opposition members, critics and human rights activists by Bangladesh security forces makes a free and fair election impossible”.

It may be mentioned here that, Human Rights Watch (HRW) that boasts of defending human rights has been accused of receiving millions of dollars from various wealthy governments in the Middle East and the world, while it also faces numerous allegations that would certainly put activities of this organization into serious doubts. According to documents leaked by Project Raven, Qatar provided 300 million euros to French president Nicolas Sarkozy for “unreserved support” to Doha in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup, another leaked document now has put Human Rights Watch (HRW), which boasts of defending human rights throughout the world has been receiving millions of dollars from the Qatari government in exchange for its total silence on any case related to human rights violations.

While commenting on Bangladesh’s forthcoming general election, VOA said, the “situation in the country is not suitable for elections at all”, HRW sees holding of a free and fair election “impossible”. Meaning, both are attempting to make Bangladesh’s upcoming election controversial, possibly with the ulterior agenda of pushing the country towards uncertainty and granting opportunity to ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist-jihadist partners. Both the statements clearly indicate the Biden administration’s ulterior agenda of pushing Bangladesh to the fate of a neo-Taliban state.

Most alarming point here is VOA’s extremely biased article, which quoted only anti-Awami League individuals as well as leaders of BNP, while it did not seek any comment from the ruling party. That evidently proves – VOA has created this article with a notorious agenda of spreading disinformation to mislead the international community. This article is continuation of notorious propaganda that has been continuing in a number of international media outlets, including The New York Times, TIME magazine, The Economist etcetera.

It may be mentioned here that, while announcing visa policy for Bangladesh, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had categorically stated that Washington had taken this decision to ensure a free and fair election in Bangladesh. Moreover, senior officials of the Biden administration have repeatedly said they are looking forward to a free and fair election under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. None of them has even said that free and fair elections are “impossible” or “situation in the country is not suitable for elections at all”. In this case, why has VOA made such a dangerous remark? What agenda do they have in mind? Or, who has asked VOA to run such unacceptable propaganda targeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government?


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