Political Victimisation and Attacks on Journalists Mount in Bangladesh

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is appalled to learn of the continued legal harrassment and

victimisation of Mohammad Ekramul Haq, editor of web portal Sheersha News and

the associated newspaper, Sheersha Kagoj in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 

Haq was rearrested at the gates of a

Dhaka prison on November 1, at the moment of

his release on bail from three months in detention. On October 25, he was granted

bail by the High Court in Dhaka, which

observed that the complainant in the first case registered against him had

furnished an identity and address which proved false. Prior to this, a lower

court had granted him bail in all cases filed in the days after his first

arrest.

 

A fresh case of extortion has now

been filed against Haq on the basis of a complaint from an official of the

income tax department in Dhaka.

 

“The IFJ is shocked at this

victimisation of a journalist, on what appear to be political grounds,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

The fresh case filed against Haq and

his arrest without an investigation, raises disturbing parallels to his first

arrest on July 31 on extortion charges and his subsequent remand, when several

more cases on identical grounds were filed against him with obvious intent to

prolong his detention.

 

“We call for a coherent explanation

of this sequence of vengeful actions against Haq and failing that, his full

discharge and immediate release,” Park said.

 

The IFJ is joined by partners in the South Asia Media Solidarity

Network (SAMSN) in demanding an explanation from Bangladesh’s authorities on two

recent cases of attacks and harassment of journalists.

 

SAMSN

partners report that on the night of November 3, Shahiduzzaman of BanglaNews,

Abdul Aziz Shishir of NTV and Monir Hossain Sazid of Independent Television,

all based in Shariatpur district, were attacked by cadre of the Awami League,

the ruling party in Bangladesh. The attack came after a local leader was

reported to have illegally been felling trees for commercial purposes.

 

In another

incident on November 3, police detained Nuruzzaman, a correspondent of the

Bengali daily Manabzamin, from near his home in Adabar area in Dhaka city. Police reportedly threatened to implicate him

in a mugging case, but then released him after a number of his colleagues

intervened.

 

 

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

 

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