Student leader threatens to kill Bangladeshi journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) in condemning the alleged death threat made by a student leader to a journalist on June 28, 2014.

Amzad Hossain Shimul, a staff reporter at the Daily Amader Shomoy at Rajshahi, western Bangladesh, was allegedly threatened by Tawhid Al Hossain, also known as Tuhin, the general secretary of the Bangladesh Chhatra League of Rajshahi University. According to reports, the student leader was enraged and allegedly threatened to kill Shimul after the journalist didn’t recognise him when he made a phone call. The student leader also allegedly warned the journalist against making the threat public.

Shimul has lodged a general diary against Tuhin at the Motihar Police Station. Journalists based at the Rajshahi University and Rajshahi District Press Club have also protested the incident.

The IFJ said: “Issuing a death threat against a journalist is an appalling tactic of intimidation and harassment. It is also an outrageous assault on press freedom – designed to impose a chilling effect on journalists to prevent them from going about their duty in a free society. There can be no excuse for making threats to kill anyone and the authorities should thoroughly investigate the incident involving Shimul because of the underlying implication that erodes the safety of all journalists.

The IFJ added: “We all know of the increasing number of instances where threats made against journalists have been acted upon. Those who wish to promote a climate of fear should not be allowed to make threats to harm others. No journalist should have to tolerate any form of abuse whether it be verbal or physical.”

The IFJ and the BMSF urge the government and the concerned political party to immediately investigate the case.