The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the Bangladesh High Court ruling granting bail to
Mohammad Ekramul Haq, editor of the Sheersha News web portal and the associated
weekly newspaper Sheersha Kagoj, after close to three months in
detention on charges of extortion.
In granting bail on October 25, the
court observed that the principal complainant in the case of extortion, a fruit
trader from the capital Dhaka, had furnished
an identity and address which proved false.
Haq was arrested at his home in Dhaka on the morning of July
31 on charges of extortion and reportedly dealt with very roughly and led
away blindfolded, two days after the complaint was received. His colleagues
contested the substance of the complaint that had been lodged on the grounds
that the complainant was operating under a fictitious identity and address.
Initially remanded for two days on
orders of the Dhaka city magistrate, Haq’s remand was extended by another two
days on August 3, after fresh
charges of extortion were laid against him by the leader of an association
The IFJ and partners in the South
Asian Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) in Bangladesh had then observed that
the multiple charges brought against Haq suggested a political vendetta.
Bail was granted in all later cases
by a lower court.
“The IFJ welcomes this decision and
calls on prison authorities to comply without delay with the judicial order to
set Haq free,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park.
“We extend our support to Haq and
his professional colleagues in their continuing efforts to clear his name
through the process of the law.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
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