International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the release of Atiqullah
Khan Masud, editor of the Bengali daily Janakantha, following bail
granted by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
to reports from Dhaka, Atiqullah Khan was
released on January 20 after more than 22 months in detention.
Khan was taken into custody in March 2007 by Bangladesh special forces and charged
with alleged corruption under the emergency regulations then in force. He was
later convicted in six separate cases to a total of 48 years’ imprisonment, by
special courts set up under the emergency regulations.
“The IFJ notes
that the functioning of the media in Bangladesh over the past two years
has been thoroughly destablised by a series of arrests of senior editors and
executives,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
release of Atiqullah Khan, we call on the newly installed democratic government
to conduct a review of all such cases.”
The IFJ meanwhile
welcomes assurances by the new Information Minister that freedom of the press
will be a high priority for his ministry, and that he will pay close attention
to issues concerning safety and security for media personnel.
of democratic governance encourages hope that the overall circumstances for the
media in Bangladesh
will improve significantly over the next few months,” Park said.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries