William B. Milam and Jon Danilowicz, lobbyists associated with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), are vigorously advocating for a visa ban on around 100 media personalities in Bangladesh. They are joined by Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, a full-time employee of Tarique Rahman, a convicted terrorist and leader of the BNP, who has managed to obtain press accreditation cards from the White House and the United Nations through false declaration. Their campaign alleges that these media individuals and outlets serve as “propaganda machines” for the ruling Awami League.
According to reliable sources, these BNP lobbyists are approaching the US State Department, referencing recent remarks by US Ambassador Peter Haas. Ambassador Haas had mentioned that there were considerations of imposing additional visa bans on media figures in Bangladesh. The BNP lobbyists argue that sanctions should be immediately imposed on the listed media personalities, accusing them of being aligned with the propaganda efforts of the ruling Awami League and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The list of media personalities provided by the BNP lobbyists includes: Md. Nayeemul Islam khan (Emirates Editor); Naem Nizam, Editor, Bangladesh Pratidin; Mohammad Shamima A Khan, Editor, The Daily Janakatha; Shamal Datta, Editor, Bhorer Kagoj; Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Publisher, Bhorer Kagoj; Abed Khan, Chief Editor, Kalbela; Zafor Sobhan, Editor, Dhaka Tribune; Saiful Alam, Editor, The Daily Jugantor; Zulfiqer Russel, Editor, Bangla Tribune; Faridur Reza Sagor, Managing Director, Channel i (TV); Enamul Haque Chowdhury, Editor, The Daily Sun; Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Editor & Publisher, The Daily Observer; Jobaer Alam, Editor & Publisher, The Bangladesh Today; AK Azad, Publisher, Samakal; Alatamasa Kabir, Publisher, The Sangbad; Chowdhury Jaforullah Sharafat, Acting Editor, Dainik Bangla; Chowdhury Nafiz Sharafat, Publisher, Dainik Bangla; Santosh Sarma, Editor and Publisher, Kalbela; Sahanaz Munni, Chief News Editor, NEWS 24; Sayem Sobhan Anvir, Owner, East west Media Group Ltd; Emdadul Haque Milan, Chief Editor, Kaler Kantho; Shahed Muhammad Ali, Editor, Kaler Kantho; Maynal Hossain Chowdhury, Publisher, Kaler Kantho; Sayed Borhan Kabir, Chief Editor, Bangla Insider; Tasmima Hossain, Editor, The Daily Ittefaq; Abul Momem, Editor, Doinik Amader Shomoy; A.M.M Bahauddin, Editor & Publisher, Daily Inqilab; S.M. Faruq, Acting Editor, Daily Manabkantha; Hashem Reza, Editor & Publisher, Amar Sangbad; Sharif Shahab Uddin, Editor, Bangladesh Post; Kaushik Hossain Taposh, Managing Director & CEO, One More Zero Group & Gaan Bangla TV; Farzana Munny- Chairperson, One More Zero Group & Gaan Bangla TV; Tipu Alam Milon, DMD, Chief Editor, Boishakhi TV; Kamal Ahmed Mozumder, Chairman, Mohona TV; Muzammel Babu- Chief-in-editor, Ekattor TV; Farzana Rupa, News Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Julia Alam, Business and Economic Journalist and Host, Ekattor TV; Tania Rahman, News Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV, Rubaiyat Audity, News Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Shamim Ara Munni, Senior Journalist and Host, Ekattor TV; Samia Rahman, Senior Reporter and Host, Ekattor TV; Fatema Amin, Presenter and Host, Ekattor TV; Naznin Munni, News Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Farzana Karim, News Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Mahbub Hasan, Journalist and Host, Ekattor TV; Shakil Ahmed, Head of News, Ekattor TV; Mahadi Hasan, Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Nur Safa Julhaj, Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Ahathasam Sabuj, Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Fahim Rahman, News Reporter & Presenter, Ekattor TV; Mujtaba Danish, Chief News Editor, Somoy TV; Mohammad Fazlur Rahman, Chairman, Somoy TV; Khan Tajnin Ahsan, Reporter and Presenter, Somoy TV; Zafar Sadiq, News Presenter, Somoy TV; Shaila Rahman Ema, News Presenter & Host, Somoy TV; Jannatul Sadia, Presenter & Host, Somoy TV; Afroja Moutushi, Reporter & Presenter, Somoy TV; Golam Rabby, News Presenter & Host, Somoy TV; Jennifer Kamal, News Presenter & Host, Somoy TV; Murshedul Islam, Owner, Somoy TV; Nabila Sohar, News Presenter & Host, Somoy TV; Ahmed Jubaer, Managing Director, Somoy TV; Farida Yeasmin, President, Jatiyo Press Club; Deep Azad, Head of News, Nagorik TV; Rubana Huq, Owner, Nagorik TV; Ashish Saikot, Chief-In-News Editor, Independent TV; Sayed Ashiq Rahman, CEO, RTV; Iqbal Karim Nishan, Head of News, GTV; Sheikh Nazmul Haque Saikot, Head of News, MY TV; Nasir Uddin Sathi, Chairman & Managing Director, My TV; Deepto TV, Kazi Media Ltd; Nabanita Chowdhury; Nexus Television and others.
Furthermore, from the United Kingdom, Zulkarnain Saer Khan, also known as Zulkarnain Saer Sami or Zulkarnain Sami (alias Tanvir Mohammad Sadat Khan), has been actively encouraging Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey and Jon Danilowicz in expediting the visa ban process for Bangladeshi media personalities.
Zulkarnain Sami, known for using multiple aliases and engaging in illicit activities, has presented himself as an “Undercover Investigative Journalist” for Al Jazeera. He has also claimed associations with Israeli daily Haaretz and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). By utilizing a photograph taken in an Al Jazeera office, Sami has deceived numerous individuals in Bangladesh and extracted substantial sums of money under the pretense of being a legitimate journalist. One of his victims, Aarav Khan, took to social media to expose Sami’s fraudulent activities.
In Sami’s latest involvement in a far-reaching conspiracy to influence the Biden administration in imposing visa bans on targeted Bangladeshi media personalities, two of his associates in extortion and criminal activities, Nazmus Saquib and Tito Rahman operators of a Facebook page and YouTube channel named ‘Nagorik TV’, are also actively collaborating.
Additionally, another source has indicated that an editor from the French news agency AFP, who is directly linked to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) organization, has been working with Zulkarnain Sami to include names of Bangladeshi media figures by branding them as propagandists.
In light of this, Mushfiqul Fazal Ansary, an employee of Tarique Rahman, recently questioned Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the US State Department, about the possibility of the United States imposing additional visa restrictions on Bangladeshi. Specifically, Ansary focused on pro-government media outlets, which he described as “propaganda machines” aiding the ruling party’s consolidation of power and turning them into “monsters”. He also alluded to information from the US Embassy in Dhaka suggesting that visa bans against key media figures were under consideration.
Matthew Miller, maintaining a cautious stance, did not confirm or deny any specific upcoming actions. He stated, “I am not announcing specific actions”. Miller went on to explain that the US, under the authority of the Secretary of State, has already taken steps to impose visa bans on various groups in Bangladesh. This includes members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and even opposition political parties. According to Miller, the primary criterion for these actions is any involvement in obstructing free and fair elections in Bangladesh.
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