The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) is appalled to learn of the continued legal harrassment and
victimisation of Mohammad Ekramul Haq, editor of web portal Sheersha News and
the associated newspaper, Sheersha Kagoj in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Haq was rearrested at the gates of a
Dhaka prison on November 1, at the moment of
his release on bail from three months in detention. On October 25, he was granted
bail by the High Court in Dhaka, which
observed that the complainant in the first case registered against him had
furnished an identity and address which proved false. Prior to this, a lower
court had granted him bail in all cases filed in the days after his first
A fresh case of extortion has now
been filed against Haq on the basis of a complaint from an official of the
income tax department in Dhaka.
“The IFJ is shocked at this
victimisation of a journalist, on what appear to be political grounds,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
The fresh case filed against Haq and
his arrest without an investigation, raises disturbing parallels to his first
arrest on July 31 on extortion charges and his subsequent remand, when several
more cases on identical grounds were filed against him with obvious intent to
prolong his detention.
“We call for a coherent explanation
of this sequence of vengeful actions against Haq and failing that, his full
discharge and immediate release,” Park said.
The IFJ is joined by partners in the South Asia Media Solidarity
Network (SAMSN) in demanding an explanation from Bangladesh’s authorities on two
recent cases of attacks and harassment of journalists.
partners report that on the night of November 3, Shahiduzzaman of BanglaNews,
Abdul Aziz Shishir of NTV and Monir Hossain Sazid of Independent Television,
all based in Shariatpur district, were attacked by cadre of the Awami League,
the ruling party in Bangladesh. The attack came after a local leader was
reported to have illegally been felling trees for commercial purposes.
incident on November 3, police detained Nuruzzaman, a correspondent of the
Bengali daily Manabzamin, from near his home in Adabar area in Dhaka city. Police reportedly threatened to implicate him
in a mugging case, but then released him after a number of his colleagues
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