Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication (BCDJC)

19/3 Bir Uttam Kazi Nuruzzaman Road
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(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

July, 2008
A total of 15 journalists were assaulted or harassed in nine different incidents across the country in July 2008. The research cell of Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication (BCDJC) revealed the data following the newspapers monitoring and field level investigation. During the period five journalists came under attack in two incidents, one was given threat, three cases were filed implicating seven journalists, one was arrested and a blog was banned. However, no report of casualties or murder was reported during the month.

On July 10, Dr. Jahangir Alam, Additional District Commissioner (ADC) of Rajshahi threatened Saidur Rahman Naju, Rajshahi Bureau Chief of the Daily Destiny over telephone while he published a report against his corruption.

Attack/ Physical Assault:
On July 7, relatives of Kazi Mizan, former Officer In-charge of Patkelghata Police station attacked on the five journalists who were taking snaps of the culprit in the Stakhira District court. The police officer Kazi Mizan was accused and arrested on charge of killing his wife Sadia Rahman. However, police arrest none of the attackers and left the court quickly with Kazi Mizan.

On July 12, five journalists were injuring in an attack by associates of Morrelganj Ferry ghat leaseholders. According to the eyewitnesses, the 12 journalists were returning home in a government microbus from Gabtala village under Sarankhola upazila after covering an event of the army chief, General Moeen U Ahmed.
When they reached the ferry ghat, a leaseholder’s relative locked into an altercation with the microbus driver over toll payment. As they tried to resolve the dispute, the leaseholder, Shahid, and his associates attacked the journalists leaving five of them seriously injured. They also snatched cell phone sets, camera and other valuables from the journalists. The injured were Rabiul Hossain of NTV, Nakib Mizanur Rahman of Dainik Purbanchal, Saimuzzaman Nantu of ATN Bangla, M Akbar Tutul of the Destiny and Sohag of Bangla Vision.  On information, the police went to the spot and arrested Shahid. Police arrested two culprits on charge of attack on the journalists.

On July 14, a group of Bengali literature students of Rajshahi University (RU) assaulted four RU journalists at the campus. According to the university campus source, Shamsul Islam Kamrul, RU Correspondent of the local daily Shunshine and Lutfor Rahman of NNB, Meherul Sujon of Samakal and freelance journalist Rashid Polash went to the Shahidullah Art Building to collect information of the harassment of a female student by the outsiders. But the miscreants suddenly attacked on them and damaged their cameras.

On July 1, a case was filed against Md. Gias Uddin, President of Gouranadi Press Club and local correspondent of daily Samakal with Gouranadi police station on charge of extortion. Local journalists held a demonstration program and observed stage-sit-in program in front of Gouranadi Upazila Nirbahi Officer’s (UNO) office demanding the withdrawal of the false case.

On July 8, Advocate Shamsul Alam Dudu, Chairman of Panchbibi Pourashavas filed a defamation case against five journalists including Abdul Baten, Chief Editor of the Daily Dinkal, Acting Editor Aminur Rahman, Panch Bibi Upazila correspondent Mosharraf Hossain Majnu and publisher of the daily Tareque Rahman. Following a report on the corruption of the Advocate Shamsul Alam Dudu published in the newspaper, he filed this case. He also claimed Taka one million as compensation to restore his goodwill that was demolished after the report.

On July 21, police submitted charge sheet of a false case filed against Motiur Rahman, Birol (Dinaj Pur) correspondent of The Daily Dinkal. Investigation found that the journalist earlier wrote a report against the corruption of Kobad Ali, Officer In-charge of Birol police station. The angry policeman intentionally filed a case by a neighbor of the journalist and submitted the charge sheet against him.

Ban and license cancellation:
On July 17, authority of a blog named Shochalayoton accused that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) has banned their blog for reason unknown. The bolg authority also said that they don’t have any technical fault and the readers can log in the blog out side the Bangladesh.

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