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HomeNews ReportsWho asked US spokesperson about Arvind Kejriwal's arrest: Bangladeshi politician-journalist Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, columnist...

Who asked US spokesperson about Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest: Bangladeshi politician-journalist Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, columnist at The Wire, and regularly pushing anti-India content

Mushfiqul is also a member of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and the Bangladesh govt has objected to his participation in various press events at UN and USA as a “journalist”. His portal is banned in Bangladesh and he is declared an absconder

On 27th March (local time), the US States Department once again said that the US is keeping an eye on Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest. They further added that they were monitoring the allegations levelled by Congress that the Government of India froze their bank accounts ahead of Lok Sabha polls. While India has strongly objected for the second time to the comments made by the State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, it is essential to know who the journalist who raised the question during the press briefing was.

After digging into the briefing, OpIndia found that the journalist who asked the question was Mushfiqul Fazal (Ansarey), a Bangladeshi journalist working for SA Perspectives and Just News BD as a White House/UN correspondent.

He asked, “What is your response to India’s summoning of the U.S. diplomat over comments regarding the arrest of Delhi’s Chief Minister Kejriwal, and how do you view the recent political turmoil in India, in the fazing of the opposition party’s bank account? As Amnesty International described the situation, “Crackdown on opposition reaches a crisis point ahead of national elections.”

To his question, Miller said, “So concerning the second question, we continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal. We are also aware of the Congress Party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to campaign in the upcoming elections effectively, and we encourage fair, transparent, and timely legal processes for each of these issues. Concerning your first question, I’m not going to talk about any private diplomatic conversations. But of course, what we have said publicly is what I just said here: that we encourage fair, transparent, and timely legal processes. We don’t think anyone should object to that, and we’ll make the same thing clear privately.”

Mushfiqul Fazal also asked the same question to the spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General during a daily press briefing on 28 March. He asked via video link, “How do you perceive the political unrest in India just before the national election, with the arrest of Delhi’s chief minister and the freezing of the opposition Congress Party’s bank accounts?  The right groups describe the situation as a crackdown on opposition, reaching a crisis point ahead of the national election.”

To this, Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric replied, “What we very much hope that in India, as in any country that is having elections, that everyone’s rights are protected, including political and civil rights, and everyone is able to vote in an atmosphere that is free and fair.”

Who is Mushfiqul Fazal (Ansarey)?

Mushfiqul Fazal (Ansarey) is a Bangladeshi journalist living in the US. According to his Facebook profile, he is the executive editor at South Asia Perspectives, executive director at Right to Freedom, White House correspondent for Just News BD and more.

Source: X

OpIndia found a report from Just News BD, the media house he works for, where it was mentioned that the Government of Bangladesh had sued him under Digital Security Act along with France-based activist Dr Pinaki Bhattacharya. As per the report from November 2022, Mushfiqul was booked by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), and Mushfiqul was marked as ‘absconding’ in the matter. In short, the person asking questions about India is an absconder in his own country.

The same report mentioned that Mushfiqul used to run a web portal that was banned by the Bangladeshi government in 2015. He has been accused of spreading disinformation about the government on multiple occasions. Mushfiqul is pro-Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), a political party in Bangladesh in opposition to Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League. During the time his portal was banned, Mushfiqul was serving as BNP’s Foreign Affairs Committee member.

Bangladesh’s mission to the UN had objected to his participation in various programmes as a “journalist” despite his “active” political roles and affiliation. Speaking to BD News 24, then-Press Secretary of the mission, Bijob Lal Deb, had said, “If active politicians are given media cards, there will be nothing left to say.” He confirmed that the mission sent a letter to the UN objecting to Mushfiqul’s presence at the UN and US State Department events as a journalist. Interestingly, Mushfiqul spoke to BD News 24 and claimed there was nothing wrong with simultaneously being a journalist and supporter of a political party.

Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey and his fixation over India

Mushfiqul has a long history of using his credentials to push the United States to meddle in India’s affairs. Interestingly, on 14th March, he questioned White House NSC Senior Director for Democracy & Human Rights Kelly Razzaouk in India’s democracy position. To his question, Razzaouk categorically said that the US was keeping an eye on the elections happening worldwide, including in India.

Earlier, during the same briefing, Mushfiqul was baffled by the fact that the US “did not meddle” in the elections that took place in Bangladesh. He stressed that the Biden administration promised to take all necessary steps to ensure a “free, fair, and credible election” as in other countries like Nigeria and Bulgaria.

Mushfiqul’s collaborations with The Wire

Interestingly, Mushfiqul Fazal (Ansarey) is also a columnist at the propaganda portal The Wire. There are three articles under his name. In the first article he wrote in February 2024, Mushfiqul ranted against the US as Sheikh Hasina became Prime Minister again. He called the elections “dummy” because the ruling party did not have to face any competition. He further claimed that there was “Indian” influence during the elections. He wrote, “The common sentiment towards India among the people is not favourable for the neighbouring country. Regardless of the significant backsliding of democracy in Bangladesh, attributing India as the enabler of that decline is certainly not a public relations boost. Thus, Delhi will have to face the consequences for the action or inaction of the US or China in Dhaka.”

His most recent article on The Wire was on the question he asked the US State Department Rep about Arvind Kejriwal and Congress. It was a basic report without much rants or glee.

Mushfique Fazal Ansarey’s links to Jamaat-e-Islami

Multiple resources have alleged that Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP fund Mushfique Fazal Ansarey’s organisation Right To Freedom. A report in Somoy News stated that Mushfique vigorously promotes Jamaat on social media. Another report from Weekly Blitz stated Right To Freedom is funded by Jamaat. According to a report in IPA News Pack, Hunter Biden was allegedly using his influence against the Awami Party using BNP. As per the report, BNP attempted to hire Hunter Biden as its lobbyist and “succeeded” in reaching an agreement via William B Milam, who is an influential figure of the Democratic Party and a retired diplomat who runs Right To Freedom with Mushfique. Interestingly, he regularly features reports linked to Jamaat on his news portal Just News BD.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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