Journalist escapes abduction attempt in Bangladesh

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sambadik Forum (BMSF) in condemning the attempted abduction of journalist Shahed Chowdhury in Dhaka on the evening of Sunday July 6, 2014.

Chowdhury, editor of the Bengali daily Samakal and president of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU), was traveling by public bus to attend a dinner hosted by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Two unidentified youths in a white car forced the bus to stop and tried to drag Chowdury out and put him in their car. Passersby stepped forward to help him, and the attackers quickly left the scene.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police say they will investigate the case once a formal complaint has been received.

The DRU staged a rally on Monday, July 7, protesting the ‘abduction attempt’.

The IFJ said: “An attempt to abduct a journalist in a public place is an example of the failure of the state to provide safety and security to its citizens. This incident highlights the dangerous environment under which journalists in Bangladesh are carrying out their responsibilities.”

The IFJ added: “We request the government to immediately ensure police investigate the incident, arrest the perpetrators and have the matter dealt with by the courts. Failure to do so will only heighten the increasing impunity over violence against journalists that is endemic across the region.”