Reporter Attacked for Critical Coverage in Bangladesh

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has denounced the attack on Hasibur Rahman Bilu, a senior journalist for Daily Star, Radio Today and Deutsche Welle, by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)'s Jatiyatabadi Chattra Dal student activists on November 22 in Bogra, north of Dhaka.

According to the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), Bilu, who has been reporting widely on Jihadist movements in Bangladesh, has been hospitalised with severe leg injuries, after the attackers beat him with bamboo canes for Bilu's critical reports on their organization.

"This violent and cowardly attempt to intimidate this journalist is a direct attack on press freedom, and must not be taken lightly," IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

According to local reports, the police officers who witnessed the scene failed to intervene to save him.

"This lack of protection for journalists indicate a clear lack of respect for press freedom in Bangladesh," the IFJ President said.

The IFJ, representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries, calls on the police and the government of Bangladesh for immediate action into investigating who the attackers were and bringing them to justice.

Concerned that the attack was planned, journalists in Bogra protested, calling for the attackers to be arrested.

"It is vital that the safety of journalists in Bangladesh is ensured so that they can report freely and independently," Warren said.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries