IFJ Calls on Government to Ensure Safety of All Journalists in Bangladesh

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned over the death threats received by nine journalists from the underground Maoist group claiming responsibility for the murder of freelance journalist Manik Saha.


The IFJ has called upon the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all journalists involved and to launch a full and thorough investigation into the death of journalist Manik Saha.


The IFJ has protested to the Government of Bangladesh in the following letter:


29 January 2004


The Hon Begum Khaleda Zia

Prime Minister

Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh


VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 880 2 881 0407


Dear Prime Minister,


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned over the death threats received by nine journalists made by the Maoist group claiming responsibility for the murder of freelance journalist Manik Saha.


According to our information, on 22 January Gaffar Tushar, leader of the Maoist group “The Peoples War”, a dissident faction of the Proletarian Party of East Bengal, claimed responsibility for the death of Saha. Saha was killed instantly by a home-made bomb thrown into his stopped rickshaw on 15 January, in Khulna in southwestern Bangladesh.


The letter also included death threats against nine Satkhira correspondents for Dhaka-based dailies. All journalists had written articles on the groups illegal activities including extortion. The journalists who were named were Mizamur Rahman, Kallayan Banerjee, Subash Chowdhury, Ram Krishna, Shahin Goldar, Kazi Dulal, Abul Kalam, Abdul Bari and M. Raju.


The IFJ calls on the Government of Bangladesh to ensure a full and thorough investigation into the death of Saha and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. In addition, the IFJ is calling on the Government of Bangladesh to treat the threats against the nine journalists with the utmost seriousness.


It is imperative that the Government of Bangladesh send a clear message to rogue groups that those who threaten and harm journalists - in this case, in the worst possible way - will be brought to justice.


Finally we call upon the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all journalists working in Bangladesh.


Yours sincerely





Christopher Warren

President, IFJ


Recommended Action:


Send appeals to the Government of Bangladesh:


  • Expressing deep concern over the death threats received by nine journalists

  • Urging the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that those responsible for the death of Saha Manik are brought to justice

  • Calling on the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of all journalists involved.


    Appeals:


    The Hon Begum Khaleda Zia

    Prime Minister

    Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

    VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 880 2 881 0407


    For further information please contact IFJ Asia at ifj@ifj-asia.org


    Please copy appeals to the IFJ Asia Office at ifj@ifj-asia.org