Journalists Attacked, Injured in Bangladesh’s Intensifying Political Conflict

 

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) notes with concern the increasing hazards faced

by journalists in Bangladesh as political strife intensifies.

 

On May 16,

police baton charged a protest organised by the opposition Bangladesh

Nationalist Party (BNP) in the capital city of Dhaka, injuring several

participants and at least five journalists.

 

The

demonstration was staged to protest the arrest of a number of senior leaders of

the opposition alliance led by the BNP that day. All of the injured journalists

were either reporters or camera-persons for local news channels.

 

On May 14, the

nephew of a leading politician and minister in the Bangladesh government assaulted

a journalist in the locality of Pabna district, allegedly in retaliation for

stories published on his involvement in possible corruption.

 

Abdullah Al

Mamun, the local correspondent for the Bangla daily Kaler Kontho, was admitted to Pabna Medical College Hospital (PMCH)

with serious injuries.

 

The attack

came without warning at 10 a.m. while Mamun was at a roadside tea-stall. It

involved an estimated ten assailants, armed with sticks and iron rods.

 

A case has

been registered against all those believed responsible. Local journalists have

demonstrated outside the offices of the district administration and the police,

demanding their immediate arrest.

 

Injury

to journalists, either in direct retribution for perceived negative reporting

or as a consequence of disregard for their safety, is a clear violation of

media rights. The press should be able to report freely on events in the public

interest without fear for their personal safety”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.

 

“The IFJ joins

the Bangladesh journalists’ unions in demanding quick and effective action in

both of these cases, to challenge the idea that journalists are fair game in

the intensifying conflict between the ruling party and the opposition”.

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find

the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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