IFJ Protests Death Threats to Bangladeshi Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists has protested to the Government of Bangladesh over death threats received by seven journalists working in the Pirojpur district.


The IFJ has protested to the Government of Bangladesh in the following letter:


15 July 2003


The Hon Begum Khaleda Zia

Prime Minister

Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh


VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 880 2 881 0407


Dear Prime Minister,


The International Federation of Journalists, the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned over death threats received by seven journalists from Pirojpur district from an unnamed group for hindering their activities.


According to our information, Arif Mostafa of the Prothom Alo, Muniruzzaman Nasim of the Dainik Ittefaq, Shafiul Huq Mithu of the Dainik Janakantha, Fashiul Islam of the Manab Jamin, Abul Kalam Azad of the Dainik Janata, Zahirul Huq of the Dainik Dinkal and Golam Kibria of the Dainik Purbanchal all received similar hand written letters with small pieces of white cloth sent from the Pirojpur Post Office on 9 July.


The letters received by the journalists stated "You will have to pay very dearly for causing obstruction to our activities and forcing us to go into hiding." "You have no right to live for causing damage to the class struggle,"


The journalists have reported the incident to the Police Superintendent, Abdullah Al Azad, who has launched an investigation.


The IFJ demands that the Government of Bangladesh launch a full investigation into the death threats work to bring those involved to justice. The Government of Bangladesh must work to ensure that journalists are free to work from fear of violence or reprisal, as a free and independent media is central to ensure democracy.


Thus the IFJ asks the Government of Bangladesh to ensure press freedom and safety of all journalists working in Bangladesh.


Yours sincerely




Christopher Warren

President

International Federation of Journalists



Recommended Action:


Send appeals to the Government of Bangladesh:


o Condemning the death threats against the seven journalists

o Urging the Government of Bangladesh to launch a full investigation into the threats

o Ensure press freedom and safety in Bangladesh


Appeals:


The Hon Begum Khaleda Zia

Prime Minister

Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 880 2 881 0407