International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned by recent reports
that journalists and media in Bangladesh
continue to be subjected to threats and harassment.
It is reported
that nineteen journalists in the south-western district of Pirojpur presented themselves
to the district police station on March 14, demanding protection from threats
made against them by the district’s ruling party, the Awami League, at a public
rally the previous day.
The IFJ has
learned from sources in Bangladesh
that the journalists had been threatened with violence following their publication
in local newspapers of critical reports about two members of the district parliament.
The reports, which alleged that two local politicians had been involved in corruption
and nepotism, were subsequently republished in daily newspapers and news
channels based in the capital city, Dhaka.
It is alleged
that members of the Awami League threatened the journalists that if they published
critical reports about the two parliamentarians again they would be forced to
leave the city or would be "chopped into pieces and buried."
this incident, IFJ associates in Bangladesh have expressed concern over
a notice issued to private television channel Ekushey TV (ETV) by the National
Board of Revenue for failure to submit tax returns for three years. ETV claims
that it is yet to complete its financial audit for the years in question as it
is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares.
follows intervention by Bangladeshi authorities on March
12 to prevent ETV, and two other television channels, from broadcasting a speech
by the leader of the national opposition at a political rally.
between the media and the government and ruling party of Bangladesh persists at the local and
national levels”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.
“We call on
the Government of Bangladesh to demonstrate greater tolerance of legitimate
media criticism and to take action to ensure those politicians and public
officials who intimidate journalists or the media in the performance of their
duties are investigated and charged”.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950
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