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tv   NEWS LIVE - 30  Al Jazeera  March 3, 2019 10:00am-10:34am +03

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on election al jazeera english has seen your prime minister described as quote mentally sick do you think he is mentally sick or is he just a journalist trying to do his job those who are familiar with the media in bangladesh will know one thing it is free it is vigorous. was not arrested for appearing and. and making a comment he was arrested for spreading this information which was inciting violence shahid is my very close friend cried a lot i'm told reporters outside court in august that he was beaten so badly by police that his tunic needed washing because of all the blood he was jailed for one hundred seven days and said he was tortured is that how you treat your friends i. have not said a word about his treatment all i have stated he is a close friend of mine and when he was arrested i took it on myself to make sure
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that he was given proper medical treatment his family was able to carry food for him ok and while he will need medical treatment well not because of the beating that you said you are denying that he was beaten by the police i did not deny that but i cannot deny it because i do not know what happened to your friend mentally sick no one of the prime minister say he's mentally sick i have no idea about that . i don't know what she was at in our mind but if somebody. spreads distant from which endangers life with inside all wireless information just before we move on because there were several people killed and with dead bodies very hidden and i one will leave office in in the on monday remain where raped i don't know that's where got don't don't don't say no hold on even if it was false you think it's worth looking into i stand by my court and i will go to my death saying the same thing that without freedom of expression our civilization will collapse so
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on the other hand the government has responsibility to protect citigroup let's bring in our panel who are waiting patiently to come in here i'm joined by swedish bangladeshi journalist author of death squads and state terror in south asia do you think it's fair to say that it's turning bangladesh into a one party state into an authoritarian state as many journalists are claim especially in the west yes many because c.n.n. has not only turned the country into a one party state and she has very successfully done that she has very key people in phases like the tories be who would come on international television and very low currently you know try to defend her but the truth remains that bangladesh is a country where people are picked up from their homes they're ducted they're kept in secret detention there is a program of enforced disappearances people are really cute people
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are imprisoned in thousands i mean we saw during the recent elections and even the anyone who the regime things that is a problem grew after him or higher with absolute viciousness and just on his point about free and fair media everyone in this hall would agree it's a free for vigorous media you're a journalist you no longer live in bangladesh what's your view well bangladeshis a. entry where journalists are beaten marsalis lead by the goons of they shot to lead the student wing of bangladesh army need we have video footage of calls you would see a well one or two journalists getting beaten up that's nothing to care about maybe but it's a very very dark situation ok before i bring back in going to go to saeed a monitor bangladesh's high commissioner to the u.k. and ireland when you hear him speak in there it's
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a litany. thousands behind bars extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances must make their job quite hard defending the bangladeshi government here in the west doesn't even live in mind that is so you know he's. just like you do why doesn't he live in i have no idea. what i'm saying is that. but there's definitely you know in the history of bangladesh in press freedom if you look at the seventy's eighty's ninety's in two thousand even until two thousand there was just one private t.v. channel like no she could see between two thousand and nine and two thousand and eighteen has opened up the media and thirty two private t.v. channels every day ninety political talk shows she has seen has been criticized left and right there are newspapers criticizing she has in the parliament she's been criticized so why wouldn't they have press freedom she doesn't need to put anybody's waste out in russia or being arrested for criticizing her to was just there only for a little bit less so there's a restaurant that's a fraction this is small fraction that doesn't mean that one doesn't have press freedom before i bring in a bar space why don't you live in bangladesh as
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a journalist i can operate independently in the country i would be abducted be tortured like michael egan when i was that which period did you leave the country before she has and i came into office but he's given many examples where let me bring in. south asia analyst at the u.k.'s essex university previously worked for amnesty international for more than thirty years i must be mentioned in forced disappearances or something i'm going to bring you back on it so can you shed some light on what is going on about english with these claims being made about people disappear what is happening in bangladesh on the government's watch is really very unacceptable in terms of democracy all the independent institutions of the parliament have become an extension of the growing of them all of these things have happened by the support of people intellectuals mr grover's of you who are active the files of the nation the nature of the issues now just go back.
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and forced disappearance of the way top of the group plain clothes officers go to the house of the people that collect them they take them away and then the police the security agencies all of those people they just say that they don't have any knowledge of them to a result of it but i think if you are saying abbas that this is the government policy i fear you are mistaken government does not need to disappear people government have authority to arrest people if this field somebody has done nothing but grow out of this anger to anger thank you to remark are you denying that people like me are mad because some. who would in front of their families in many cases were taken by plainclothes police of on c.c.t.v. with in one case i am with they not taken i am going to say again denying. me for illinois deplorable if this is drew this were to happen what are their names that
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are also given the things that of people have resurfaced and are openly moving around in this is how but not all of them have if there is a government and the us government and amnesty international and human rights watch and bangladesh human rights groups are all saying you people are being disappeared how do you invest telling me that this is of course we will investigate and that ok i want to ask about the war crimes tribunal set up in two thousand and ten by the bangladeshi government to bring justice for the atrocities that were committed during the war of independence and nine hundred seventy one first these tribunals were welcomed by the international community however in recent years the un the international human rights watch the international center for transitional justice they all raise serious concerns about the fairness of these trials in particular the use of the death penalty you claim to be part of a progressive party but you're overseeing tribunals that the international commission of jurists says do not add here to international standards of a fair trial and due process let me first ask you is why every time i ask you a question you want to ask i want to ask you because this was part of because you.
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you have raised the question of international practice international standards you know like international no no no i'm going to ask you is there is international gold standard no there is it what exists in every country that countries have set up their own schools and where do you compare the code is with the law court and the appellate division was the process followed in the tribunals in any way inferior to our high court and our supreme court no but this was the only country which tried war criminals and gave them full right of representation full evidence was placed into the hands of their defense lawyers they were allowed to bring in as many defense lawyers as were necessary as witnesses what about witnesses who were abducted from outside the court protest over there i don't know about that particular thing you and the international
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commission of jurists says defense witnesses have been abducted and intimidated and there are credible allegations of collusion between the government prosecutors and judges isn't it the case the ship has seen or just wants to get guilty and therefore cut corners first you first you tell me it is not of international standards when i tell you that the standards followed in bangladesh were higher than what that happened in nuremberg trial is as good as i don't remember anyone accusing the nuremberg trials of abducting witnesses outside the court of law at the international tribunal gave an opportunity for appeal not only appeal it also be a battle of the rules give an opportunity for judicial review if after all these things you say i'm not hearing these are international tourists are saying it who know their stuff ok let's move on there's a lot of opposition to quote unquote secularism islam is among the dish in just three years between twenty thirteen and twenty sixteen as you know there were ten
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brutal murders of atheist bloggers. as well as other activists this is zero tolerance for extremists who kill bloggers from your government indeed yes then why did the after the death of one blogger roy in february twenty fifteen why does she has seen a son an advisor to the government he said your government quote can't come out strongly for him as they don't want to be seen as atheists another minister sharia said that while these attacks are not acceptable at the same time we expect people to stop criticizing the prophet from a supposedly secular government that's a pretty intolerant some would say cowardly approach to the murder of your own citizens i'm not going to defend the statements made by those you can as them but they your colleagues are what i am going to hear what al gore is going to tell him that is what i am going to say to you is government does take very strong action against all crimes including crimes against bloggers while what is often not recognized is that there is also another law in that country with sais that
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you can be punished for insulting religious beliefs or religious sentiment is that your version of a blasphemy law that is where a blasphemy law is how can you say you're a secular government secular country of course you are thank you look your bloggers for offending religious sentiments i was a secular i don't know as yet of the blogger has been arrested for russell purvis the blogger who fled to japan after being arrested was he arrested for blue. religious sentiments. if you are if you are going to if you are going to incite violence by an income on there is no reason that i ask you is are you a secular country if you look at bloggers for offending islam yes or no i do have to as a member of the government ok if. public safety is endangered governments have a response of the excuse that many governments use you say that you're
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a secular party and secular government you say your opponents the b.n.p. the bangladesh national party are theocratic you say they're in bed with jamaat e islami quote unquote islamists but some would say that you've gotten into bed with some pretty extreme groups to the head of the islam movement you've given into some of their pretty extreme demands you even refused your party to condemn them when they recently attacked the education of teenage girls and one that is why now of maybe compare like with like. jamaat is a political party the father this is not a political irrelevant to my question no it is relevant i was asking a sailor it is. a family holiday i mean that i'm into that because it is a student's movement so i was a part of our students movement there are one point four million students studying in in madras has controlled by the half hour the group the government is trying to bring them out to modernize their curriculum to make them employable ok
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to train their enough modern science has an education so that they become employable and keep away from radical and no one saying you should talk to them and that is what america is giving into their demands you say that your modernizing their curriculum they seem to be having more impact on your curriculum they asked for seventeen stories and poems to be removed from school textbooks you agreed they asked to move a female statue representing justice from the supreme court you agreed they condemn the education of teenage girls your minister said that's fine it's free speech you are just appeasing the more telling the world your secular does it not. there to reflect on the fact that there are bore women today bribery schools than there are men is that a restoration so do you condemn a small group after they knew you condemning them are saying that college girls should our policy is condemning them know that i'll never really get to education refuse to get the he said who has made the comments i am going to bring you here and i am saying that it is exactly against the government policy ok let's go back
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to our panel. do you accept that this is about bringing the mother and bringing these groups forward modernising getting jobs. what's your position on the relationship between the two slum came to prominence back in two thousand and thirteen after the marder of a blogger and their demand was capital punishment for anyone who would criticize islam and eat this they would carry placards seeing that you know he is like you would kill dogs and cats that is how far that the islam now has been declared as the mother of call me students in bangladesh who have very questionable ideas i'm not sure how islamic they are even so you don't monitor slimmers here the high commission and what's your response when you hear for example it's not just atheist bloggers there are many minorities among others who are upset the secretary of the bangladesh buddhist federation said that when hindus buddhists and
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christians face abuse in bangladesh there is no one to turn to for justice that's quite damning isn't it for minorities in libraries this i think she is seen as party has been the most secular party that bangladesh has ever witnessed it's very clear that her policies in her previous government she had five cabinet ministers who are hindus and christian and buddhist and in this cabinet is at least three cabinet ministers put up with mr who are hindus and buddhists after the runway incident if you recall sheikh hasina has rebuilt nine thousand with his temples has myanmar built one temple one must remember is if what i say i was. actually very close not really serious trouble but i thought it was good is there is buddhist leaders hindu leaders christian leaders they're all saying we feel i want to follow that i would agree with that why does she empower women she empowers women to marginalize extremist forces and that is how bangladesh is doing so well it cannot be equally about. what do you make of the result human but the government has tried its best high commissions argument it has improved things in terms of protections
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for minorities protections for atheist bloggers is that fair have there been massive improvements to the recent protection from the mine no it is no person dumb enough to talk with tell me how many people have been. tried and convicted for setting fire on the homes of the christians for attacking hindu minorities or yes none have been brought to justice you have raised a very important issue minorities have often been. victims of persecution but to say that under this government there has been persecution of minorities please i urge you to go back to your sources i urge you to go back to the most of it if voiced on this is. hindu buddhist christian association. told me that and i don't know what they have told you they have come to the prime minister and they have thanked her never in the history of bangladesh
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minorities have enjoyed looking like freedom just to be clear also number though just what's the number of convictions that i don't know but i can tell you one thing going to make a visiting palca ok we'll be glad. i'm not note we're going to have to take a break do join us on head to head for part two with doris we were going to be talking about the writing issue and we're also going to hear from a very patient audience here in the oxford union after the break. thank. the strength of al jazeera is that because we have such an extensive network people were coming to us and actually shared information with the al-jazeera team in. rewind return a can bring your people back to life. with updates and the best of the houses here is documentaries the struggle continues. to. use distance
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continuing with australia's most generation ever covering from colonize ation is a really important issue suicide rates do remain very high we're still twice the national average rewind on i'll just zero. zero. where ever you. i'm kemal santa maria with another look at the headlines on al-jazeera donald trump's been speaking to the very people who got him elected at the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the united states the president attacked democrats over their plan to tackle climate change and dismissed their attempts to look into his personal finances they fight so hard on this which chant this phony deal
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that they put together this phony thing that now looks like it's dying so they don't have anything with russia there's no collusion so now they go and morph into let's inspect every deal he's ever done we're going to go into his finances we're going to jackies deals we get a check these people are sick of this. but making some confident noises about challenging trump is bernie sanders in his second bid for the presidency launching his campaign in brooklyn sanders told supporters he expects to win the democratic nomination he described trump is the most dangerous president in modern american history they have headlines now in our dealings with the fleet is refusing to balance of protesters demands that he doesn't seek a fifth term as algeria's president instead the eighty two year old has sacked an unpopular campaign chief and named a replacement for next month's elections. there have been funerals for victims of
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the latest violence in the disputed kashmir region at least seven people were killed in cross border shelling between india and pakistan high level talks between the u.s. and the taliban continue here in doha the u.s. envoys. earlier round ended with unprecedented progress to end the seventeen year old or the taliban's refusing to directly negotiate with the afghan government wants foreign forces out. rival groups have confronted each other in the israeli city of tel aviv for plans to indict prime minister benjamin netanyahu israel's attorney general says the decision to prosecute netanyahu will be made within six weeks. up to two hundred thousand people have marched through the italian city of milan against government policies they say promote racism and discrimination there has been an increase in racially motivated attacks since the far right government came to power last year and the yellow vests protesters keeping up their demands as well for french president emanuel micron to quit very have marched for
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a sixteenth consecutive weekend. about twenty five minutes time now it's back to. work about to head to head on al-jazeera english my guest tonight is going to reveal international affairs adviser to the bangladeshi prime minister sheikh hasina in recent years ago rizvi one of the biggest challenges bangladesh has had to face has not come from the inside but from the outside from neighboring myanmar more than a million muslim rohingya refugees have fled into bangladesh it's very admirable that your country has taken in so many refugees but here's what i don't get you've called what's happening in myanmar ethnic cleansing your boss the prime ministership are seen as called it quote tantamount to genocide and crimes against humanity and yet your solution to the crisis seems to be to try and send the refugees back to me makes no sense really that is the solution that these
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people belong to be had while they want to go back whole and their whole however what we have also see is we will only send them when there when conditions are safe and people will go back voluntarily very few government in the world. let alone a developing society host a million refugees and then say we would like you to go back only when the situation is there now of course the problem doesn't lie on bangladesh side it lies on me and marcel agree and what else can bangladesh do. the responsibility lies with the international community that they must insist on myanmar save for the return agree of the in the meantime though you say we won't send them back
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while it's not safe which is good to hear and yet in the very there were reports covered by international media covered by human rights groups that you were trying to send them back against their will security forces were deployed to some of the camps in cox's bazaar refugees were told that if they didn't leave they would stop receiving russians they would be blocked from working with n.g.o.s the u.n. put out a statement saying do not send them back against their will that's what you are trying to do in november let me clarify what we had said was doing those who want to voluntarily return because myanmar government criticised us saying that bangladesh is preventing the retired forcibly preventing the return of writing those who want to come back so we said if those who would like to leave voluntarily may go people refused to go voluntarily we did not push out we did not force the un referred to terror and panic in cox's bazar the imminent risk of being sent back against their will i don't know from where this statement came but you know
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you a lot of us see our person from bangkok with whom i work very very very closely we work in concert there was never ever a question of any forcible repair to a new start that is the policy of the bank that is a policy and this is the policy of the prime minister has announced again and again including at the united nations there's also a plan right now a belief in the government to send thousands of these refugees to a place called bus on char an island three hours from the mainland which is particularly prone to cyclons and severe flooding human rights groups of one that it could become an island prison ok. the whole of course the region is prone to cycle and storm tidal surges so that island is not anything different from the rest of the coastal belt second thing is on the one hand we are under enormous pressure from humanitarian organisations that there is congestion in these camps these camps have become unsafe create more space for them so that they can live better we have
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developed an island put protections against surges we have built a cycle on shelters there but most important before we have say to these international organizations go and see it for yourself and then these people if they are voluntarily or some of them want to be relocated there they are welcome to be the guardian got footage of the island that was being built there in the number twenty eighteen they found the families that we housed in rooms which measured two meters by two in our meters which have small barred windows just kind of sound prisoners. well have you been to the coxes bizarre camp if you if you had been to that camp i can assure you you wouldn't you wouldn't have. that because that accommodation created in boston to our is far far superior to the current existence of the temporary shelters in which they live live it ok you could
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allow some other countries to take some of these refugees of your home but you don't seem to be letting the bangladeshi government refused exit visas to rohingya refugee women who had been offered asylum in canada under a specific program designed to take care of victims of sexual violence why would you do that when did this happen twenty eighteen i don't know why this happened but let me give you a larger explanation the larger explanation is that there is a fear that if third country settlement begins to happen and we don't know how many people are canada was willing to appear there are a million people who want to take fifty or sixty people all it does is it creates hope those who are left behind in myanmar that if you can reach the camps of bangladesh you may be resettled in the third that is the argument you made about you to start a good argument here is that you say the people in myanmar are facing genocide if
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you're facing genocide you want to get out just how are you going to canada are all ok i did not i'm saying as i said this is one another argument that has been and what about the argument that you could have let more in earlier it was admirable to let in a million people in the last couple of years but refugees have been fleeing the violence there for years now as you well know and yet you were turning them back between twenty twelve and twenty sixteen bangladeshi border guards were turning away refugees in the hundreds many of those people who turned away probably died go one step back we already had three quarters of a million running the refugees in bangladesh they have been there since the late one nine hundred ninety s. . so to say that we turn some back which country has allowed so many people into there and i said that's a brutal position what i'm wondering is given you've let these people in given you said the victims of genocide in hindsight at least you look back over has been so you know i wish we'd let all in earlier we could have saved all lives is this what
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happens when they came the border guards they are trained to prevent people from coming in that was their reaction when this came to the high level decision i was present in the meeting that day all the security forces argue that we should hold them back our prime minister said no this is a humanitarian crisis opened our frontiers let them in and i think this is the only unique example possibly angela merkel was another where a billion people legally allowed the ok to the country fair enough let me ask you this last question before we go to our panel and then the audience you said myanmar should be referred to the international criminal court or indeed just stage do you think aung sang suu chihiro you know personally do you think she should face an international tribunal as well for her role in this genocide or at least her role in denying and covering it up who ever is involved should be faced with the international court of justice there is no doubt because this was premeditated
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genocide so you think there could be a case against aung san suu kyi as well it could it would be against the entire government or any member of government that aided and abetted in this process you like to see her on trial. now you are asking me to comment on a friend. and i. have a soft spot for friends and i roared back. interesting choice of friends tonight. let's go to our panel of experts who are waiting on the oxford union i'm joined by abbas spaces of south asia analyst at u.k.'s six university previously worked for amnesty international for more than thirty years abbas as a human rights activist and specialist how worried are you about the fate of refugees in bangladesh today what's your view and that is commendable but dang that this is the but that is not enough to do so after a very strong movement within the international community to ensure that the pressure that is needed to be placed on the government of myanmar is the government
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to bring that this is not doing all of that so you don't want to sneeze here bangladesh is high commissioner to the u.k. and ireland you've also served on bad leadership is a national toss force on the repaired tradition of the refugees abbas's you've done well but not enough we have done excellent with the only country in the world who's giving maximum protection to the. why isn't the was doing enough that should be a question of what bangladesh is doing in a bunker this is a country with a three these. are you this is a list developed country we are we're the most densely populated country in the world we are sharing our food and space and sovereign space with the wind as was given we've given sixty six six thousand acres of land for us we're protecting sixty thousand women who are raped and gave babies seventy thousand babies who are raised babies we're providing support and shelter to those babies we're providing health education you know health care prenatal post near to women who are sexually
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violated in. states the question is why isn't the one doing enough would they you know existing would they not to kingdom be ready to take one point one million refugees are going to use a condom so the question is would you. let me bring. lose a swedish bangladeshi journalist author of death squads and state turn south asia trust if you're a critic of this government is very difficult to disagree with the high commissioner saying that they've done a lot for the ring refugees this is sheer cussedness finest hour many genocide is not something we just don't like have a competition of who has done enough and there's not enough and i'd like to ask a direct question to me here i mean you see that you want to see me and mark tried international court of justice for genocide you on record saying it is a genocide crime is. genocide now what is stopping you from referring.
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to the international court of justice under article nine of the genocide convention i think the answer is obviously no we haven't done it but you are a government would help if handful training feeding providing health care why the government had of course we will do of course we were going really really like you know we're going to wrap this up but let's go to our audience raise your hands i want to bring you in as as many of you as i can go to judge we're here in the front i represent ahmed bin custom he was disappeared by the bangladesh special forces wrap in august two thousand and sixty with all the evidence points to this being done on the direct orders of prime minister sheikh hasina he's only one of hundreds have been disappeared these disappearances have been noted by un human rights bodies international human rights organizations the international press ok and foreign embassies when will the bangladesh government stop pushing the ridiculous line the disappearances are not happening and when will these men be released so they can return to the family. when disappearances happen
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it is deplorable. and but i have also stated that this is not a government policy of moving people so where is his client i wouldn't know since you are the lawyer you tell us ready is your plan you just want to respond when and with with proof there is credible evidence he was being held in dhaka can torment a military base in the middle of dhaka and that's credible evidence from foreign addresses and your government knows where he is no one believes that you don't know you don't even get a phone you're going to blame it on his own thank you for the statement but you have said nothing you have just made a statement that he is your into question he told you where he thinks he is he now is your job to go check it out you are the only thing he does not i am prepared to take it out but you know when you use the word credible well i have to take your word for it i want the cell number as one which i mean for meaning or he would give me something for less scrutiny will ask about the audio.

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