SAMSN Partners Denounce Attacks on Media Persons in India and Bangladesh

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) joins affiliates and partners in the South Asia Media

Solidarity Network (SAMSN) in denouncing violent attacks on journalists and

media staff in India and Bangladesh.

 

David Devadas, a senior journalist

who has written extensively over the years on the Kashmir issue in the Indian

media, was assaulted by a police patrol on September 5 in Srinagar,

capital of the state of Jammu and

Kashmir.

 

Devadas was driving through slow

moving traffic in the city that day when he was hit from behind by the escort

vehicle of a high state government functionary, according to a letter he has

since written to Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He was

stopped at the next major traffic intersection by policemen on duty and told to

hand over his vehicle.

 

While Devadas sought to clarify the

reason why he had been stopped, a group of policemen approached and began

beating him severely with fists and metal batons. He was verbally abused and

accused of seeking to lethally assault the VIP convoy as it passed his car.

 

Devadas was then reportedly bundled

into a police vehicle and driven to a police station, his head held down

forcibly to the floor of the vehicle. The beating continued within the police

station premises.

 

“The IFJ notes that Devadas has

approached the top political leadership in Jammu and Kashmir and also made a formal

complaint to high officials in the police command,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“We demand that the personnel behind

this brutality be appropriately sanctioned in accordance with applicable rules

for police conduct.”

 

In Bangladesh,

personnel of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) – an elite force dealing with

organised crime and terrorism – reportedly assaulted two members of the staff

of the Bangla Vision TV channel in a neighbourhood of the capital city Dhaka, on September 12.

 

Cameraman Russel Mizan and broadcast

engineer Hasanul Islam Raihan had to be admitted to a hospital in the city for

emergency medical attention.

 

The commander of the concerned RAB

cell has reportedly assured Dhaka’s media

community of a full investigation into the matter.

 

The IFJ calls for a transparent and

complete investigation into this incident and positive assurance that the RAB

personnel responsible will be punished for attacks on media staff.

 

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific