Continuing Assaults on Journalists in Bangladesh Unacceptable, says IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, today condemned the violent attack on a Bangladesh photojournalist by representatives of political party BNP.

Photojournalist for local daily Ajker Khabor and Dhaka-based national daily Ajker Kagaj, Fakrul Akanda, was hospitalised after being attacked by party members at a Mymensingh (south) district BNP Executive Committee meeting.

The meeting, chaired by committee president and former state minister for energy, AKM Mosharraf Hossain MP, disintegrated into a brawl when conflict broke out. Rival groups were fighting over issues such as the sacking of AKM Mosharraf Hossain, defeat of BNP district secretary Manjurul Haque Manji in the last Mymensingh municipal election, formation of Bhaluka upazila BNP committee and less contact between district BNP leaders with grass-roots leaders and activists.

According to information obtained by the IFJ, Fakrul, who is the office secretary of Mymensingh unit of Bangladesh Photo Journalists Association (BPJA), was hit in the head and had his camera taken by party men.

IFJ President Christopher Warren demanded that immediate action be taken against the guilty.

"Political parties cannot be allowed to use violence against journalists to protect their ambitions and interests," said Warren.

"This attack totally unacceptable, those responsible must be held to account to make it clear to all political parties that journalists cannot be intimidated or persecuted for political gain," said the IFJ President.

The IFJ condemns any actions against journalists that threaten their right to report as part of a free and independent media. 

For further information, contact Christopher Warren on +61 411 757 668
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries