The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the brutal attack on journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Chaudhury, on October 5 and calls on the government of Bangladesh to provide him with immediate police protection.
Chaudhury, editor of the Blitz newspaper, was reportedly badly beaten by a group of 30 people, possibly including members of the ruling Bangladesh National Party (BNP), when they stormed the Blitz offices, and also stole 400,000 Taka (approximately US$6,000) and several mobile phones.
“The IFJ is outraged that an editor can be so violently attacked and demands a full and independent investigation into this shocking attack, particularly the claims that members of the BNP were involved,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
This is not the first time Chaudhury has been targeted. On February 26 this year Chaudhury received death threats and then in July the offices of the Blitz were bombed.
Chaudhury is reportedly facing the death penalty for sedition charges relating to articles criticising the spread of Islamist militancy in Bangladesh. His trial is due to start on October 12.
“In light of this recent attack, the earlier death threats, the bombing of the Blitz offices, and Chaudhury’s impending trial, the IFJ demands adequate protection for Chaudhury to ensure his safety,” Warren said.
“Furthermore, the IFJ reiterates its calls for Chaudhury’s case to be withdrawn from the criminal jurisdiction, as the death penalty is a hugely disproportionate punishment,” said the president of the IFJ, the global organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries