Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication (BCDJC)

19/3 Bir Uttam Kazi Nuruzzaman Road
West Panthapath
(East side of Square Hospital)
Dhaka 1205
Tel : +88 02 9126900
Fax : +88 02 9128748
E-mail : [email protected], [email protected]

State of Press Freedom, 2008

MARCH 2008
APRIL 2008
MAY 2008
JUNE 2008
JULY 2008

June, 2008
At least 22 journalists were victimized in eight incidents of death threat, harassment, abduction, filing case against journalist, jailing and attack during the month of June 2008. During the month seven journalists came under attack, three journalists received death threat in three separate incidents, one photojournalist escaped from attempted abduction, four media people facing defamation case, six journalists were harassed and one journalist was sent to jail. However, no report of murder was reported during the month.

Death Threat:
On June 17, miscreants threatened to kill Probhat Kumar Shaha, Faridpur Sadar upazila correspondent of the daily Amar Desh. BCDJC monitoring cell found that Probhat Kumar was physically assaulted and threatened to kill by one Saifur Rahman Ripon and his associates while he went to Joy Bangla Bazar of Char Bishnupur of Sadar upazila to collect information for making a news story. A general diary was lodged with the concerned police station in connection with the incident.  

On June 21, miscreants gave death-threat to Muhammad Ali, Shibchar Correspondent of The Daily Samokal. One Jamal Matbor and his accomplices threatened the journalist to kill after publishing a report on the anti-social activities of the culprits.

On June 25, miscreants threatened to kill Kawsar Azam, Ulaa Para Correspondent of The Daily Noya Diganta. Investigation revealed that Hedayetul Islam Ranju, a local miscreant threatened the journalist to kill after publishing a report on corruption of the development works of a graveyard.

Attack/ Physical Assault:
On June 6, miscreants attacked Khokon, photojournalist of Banglar Chokh and Drik, and injured him critically. The incident took place at the village Char Lathi Mara under Patharghata of Barguna district. Investigation found that the photojournalist came under attack when he tried to take some snaps of villagers who were escaping from their native villages of the costal area of Patharghata. The pirates made the region as their safe heaven. On the day of incident, a notorious pirate Mujibor and his associates attacked him and took away his camera and motorcycle. Then they tried to abduct the photojournalist; police rushed the scene and rescued him. Police also arrested Abdul Halim, brother of Mujibor on charge of attempted abduction. Altaf Hossain Mithu of the Daily Sangbad. The journalists came under attack of the miscreants when they went to the village for covering an event.

On June 29, a group of students at Dhaka College attacked and injured seven journalists and damaged their vehicles in protest against the injuries to one of the fellow students who was hit by a microbus in front of the college. They also damaged the furniture of the auditorium of the college in presence of the police. Witnesses said the students brought out a procession and also staged a demonstration on the college campus demanding steps to set up speed breakers on the road in front of the college and protesting against the road accident inuring a first year student. According to witnesses, the journalists of Bangladesh Television, RTV and Channel-i came under the attack and their vehicles were damaged when they went to cover a seminar on 'Budget' at the college auditorium. Officer-in-Charge of New Market Police Station Anisur Rahman said the students staged a demonstration on the college campus to press home some of their demands.    

On June 17, a defamation case was filed against four media people of the popular television program 'Crime Watch' broadcast on NTV. One Mosammat Rumana who hailed from Old Dhaka's Lalbagh area filed the case saying that `Crime Watch' has broadcasted crime report. The complainant filed with the Dhaka Session Court and appealed for punishment of the people behind the news for the report. The plaintiff also appealed for imposing ban on the programme.

On June 19, a notice was issued against six journalists of The Daily Bogra and The Daily Sat Matha including the editor, news editor and four other reporters of the newspapers. Advocate Rejanur Islam Reza issued the notice on behalf of Arifur Rahman, son of Mozammel Hoque of Khondokar Tola under Sherpur upazila of Bogra. The notice was issued for publishing a report against the person.

Court verdict/Acquisition:
On June 27, Khulna Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal acquitted all the seven accused including the chief of the outlawed Janajuddha Party Abdur Rashid alias Dada Tapan in the journalist Humayun Kabir Balu murder case. Humayun Kabir was the owner cum editor of a local daily "Janmobhumi" and the incumbent president of Khulna Press Club at the time of his murder. The victim was bombed to death by the assailants in broad daylight at the entrance of his newspaper office-cum residence on Islampur road in the city.

A court ordered the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) authorities to conduct further investigation into the case filed in connection with attacking journalist Zahid Al Amin. The court also ordered the CMP authorities to complete the investigation by an Inspector of Detective Branch within March 27. A group of unruly intern doctors and employees of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) beat Zahid Al Amin on July 21, 2005 when he went there to discharge professional duties. Zahid was a staff reporter of the daily Nayadiganta, Chittagong Bureau at that time and currently an Assistant Editor of Dhaka based English weekly--The Our Time, and Research Reporter of The Daily Amader Shomoy.

On June 17, a Mymensingh court sentenced a journalist to two years' rigorous imprisonment in an extortion case. The court also fined the convict, Shah Mohammed Rony, 40, staff correspondent of the Bangla daily Korotoa, TK 1,000,in default, to suffer four months more in jail. The prosecution said Rony demanded TK 20,000 from a businessman and also threatened him to publish a report against him if he failed to pay the money. Later, a RAB team arrested Rony while he was taking TK 5,000 from the trader on March 24.

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