Bangladesh: Journalist attacked at a railway station protest

Shahadat Hossain, a journalist for the Bengali language daily newspaper, Prothom Alo, was attacked on June 1 while reporting on a protest in Brahmanbaria railway station demanding the reopening of the railway. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the attack against Hossain.

Journalist Shahadat Hossain. Credit: Sharif Chowdhury.

According to news reports, Hossain was attacked at the railway station protest organized by the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL). The railway was closed following the nationwide anti-Modi protest against the killing and attack of Hefazat-e-Islam's activists by police and members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, the youth wing of the ruling Awami League political party.

Hossain told dainiksarod.com, “Bangaldesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader named Roman Mia (26), and his brother attacked me after knowing that I informed a Juba League leader about BCL’s attack on Muradul Islam, the gate keeper of the station.” Other journalists at the protest assisted Hossain and took him to Brahmanbaria General Hospital for treatment.

The incident was condemned by Brahmanbaria Press Club. District political leaders including BCL president, Rabiul Hossain Rubel, also expressed grief over the incident.

Hossain filed a case against Roman Mia at Sadar Model Police Station on the same day. In response to the complaint, Mia was arrested and appeared at court on June 2. According to Sadar Model Police Station officer-in-charge (OC) Emranul Islam, police arrested, Zahirul Islam Jumman, another person accused of attacking Hossain

On March 25 and 26, more than 17 journalists covering anti-Modi demonstrations were assaulted by Bangladesh police as well as members of the Chhatra League.

The Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) said: “We strongly condemn an attack on the journalists in duty. We respect all the groups and political parties to respect freedom of press and expression.”

The IFJ said: “The trend of journalists being attacked at protests by members of political and other groups while reporting is concerning. The IFJ stands in solidarity with journalists that have been attacked and stress the importance of ensuring journalists can work freely without fearing for their safety.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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