International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked that personnel of an
elite Bangladeshi armed guard raided the home of journalist F.M. Masum in Dhaka on October 22, brutally assaulted him and then took
him to their headquarters and continued the torture for close to 10 hours.
“The IFJ condemns
this inhuman act by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). We begin to suspect the
battalion has been consistently abusing the special powers it has for fighting
organised crime and terrorism to crush all dissent and critical opinion,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
to media reports and information from IFJ partners, Masum was picked up from
his apartment when RAB personnel raided a neighbour’s home in connection with
an investigation into an alleged drug trading ring.
physically assaulted as he opened his door. When he identified himself, the
violence only escalated.
inflicting considerable physical injury on Masum, the RAB personnel reportedly
took him to their headquarters where he was subjected to systematic torture.
correspondent with the English-language daily New Age, was reportedly
told that he was being dealt with in retaliation for the editorial postures
taken by his editor, Nurul Kabir, a widely respected journalist and intellectual.
New Age has been
known to take a critical stance on current political themes, including during two
years of “emergency” rule which ended late last year.
have earlier been implicated in the torture and ill-treatment of a young and
courageous journalist, Jahangir Alam Akash, in October 2007.
welcome the public expressions of regret for the latest atrocity from the top
echelons of the RAB command structure and the Bangladesh Government, but expect
that proper recompense will be rendered Masum and appropriate punishment
imposed on those guilty for his torture,” Park said.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries