IFJ Welcomes Release of Editor After 22 Months in Prison



The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the release of Atiqullah Khan Masud, editor of the Bengali daily Janakantha, following bail granted by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.


According to reports from Dhaka, Atiqullah Khan was released on January 20 after more than 22 months in detention.


Atiqullah Khan was taken into custody in March 2007 by Bangladesh special forces and charged with alleged corruption under the emergency regulations then in force. He was later convicted in six separate cases to a total of 48 years’ imprisonment, by special courts set up under the emergency regulations.


“The IFJ notes that the functioning of the media in Bangladesh over the past two years has been thoroughly destablised by a series of arrests of senior editors and executives,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“With the release of Atiqullah Khan, we call on the newly installed democratic government to conduct a review of all such cases.”


The IFJ meanwhile welcomes assurances by the new Information Minister that freedom of the press will be a high priority for his ministry, and that he will pay close attention to issues concerning safety and security for media personnel.


“The restoration of democratic governance encourages hope that the overall circumstances for the media in Bangladesh will improve significantly over the next few months,” Park said.


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries