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, 2009

MARCH 2009
APRIL 2009
MAY 2009
JUNE 2009
JULY 2009

January, 2009
A total 29 journalists in 12 different incidents across the country from January 1 to 31, 2009 have been victimized. The research cell of Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication (BCDJC) has recorded the aforesaid data from the newspaper monitoring and field level investigation. During the period 12 journalists received death threat or threat in six different incidents, six journalists came under attack in four incidents, two cases were filed against four, six were harassed in two incidents and one journalist was abducted in another incident. Zilla magistrate canceled the declaration of The Daily Nabab due to illegal publication. However, no unnatural death or murder was reported during the period.

Death threat/ Threat: 
On January 1, Abu Saleh Akon, senior reporter of the Daily Naya Diganta, and former Organizing Secretary of Crime Reporters Association (CRAB) was threatened to death due to his failure to give extortion. An unknown person threatened him over the mobile phone (Warid) on 31 December 2008.

On January 1, after National Parliament Election, some Dhaka University correspondents were assaulted. Ashraful Islam Kochi, DU Correspondent, The Daily Shangbad; Riadul Karim, DU Correspondent, The Daily Janakantha; Golam Mortuza Antu, Reporter of BD news; Kamrul Hasan, Reporter of The Daily Destiny and Monjurul Islam, Reporter of Janater Chokh were harassed severely and death threat by Chhatro league activists. The activists ransacked the reporters' room, destroyed their valuable things and threatened them to death.
On January 3, Jahangir Alam Akash, the Rajshahi Correspondent of The daily Shangbad, was threatened to death over mobile phone. An unidentified person threatened him for revenge. He ranged Akash's mobile phone for twice a day. Akash lodged a general dairy no–180 on 4 January 2009 with Rajshahi Boalia Police Station in this connection. In other side, a terrorist organization Huji identified member threatened to kill the president of Lakhkhipur Press Club Hossain Ahmed Helal. A General Dairy (GD) no–165 has been filed at Lakhkhipur Sadar Thana.
On January 18, Shattajit Ghosh, Shoritpur Correspondent of The Daily Prothom Alo, got death threat from mayor of Shoritpur Pouro-Shobha Abdur Rob over mobile phone. The Daily Prothom Alo published report regarding absence of Mayor Abdur Rob and criticizing freedom fighters at Muktijoddha seminar. For this reason, local Krishok League leader Rajjak called Shattajit over mobile phone and misbehaved with him. At that time, Abdur Rob gave death threat. Shattajit lodged a General Dairy with Shoritpur Sadar Thana in this connection.

On January 27, Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Editor of The Daily New Nation, got death threat through mobile phone from an unidentified caller. His car came under attack by some unidentified people near Purabi Cinema Hall in the city when he was returning to his residence at Journalists Residential Area in Mirpur-11 pm. On 24 January, A General Dairy has been lodged with Pallabi Thana in this connection.

On January 27, Shipon Ahmed, Photojournalist of The Daily Janakantho, got threat by terrorist. Terrorist also misbehaved with Shipon. The incident was happened in the Railget area. Shipon filed a case at Narayangonj Sadar Thana in this connection.

Case/ Legal Notice:
On January 7, Chittagong Television Centre of Bangladesh Television (CTV) filed a General Dairy (GD) against ETV due to illegal terrestrial telecasting. General Manager of CTV Anwarul Haque Al Kadri filed the GD at Dabalmorine Thana at late night on 6 January. Assistant sub-constructor Delwar Hossain told that ETV telecast the new ministry oath program illegally. Government didn’t permit the terrestrial telecast advantage to any private channel.

On January 19, The High Court (HC) issued a rule upon Nasrin Akhter, a reporter of the weekly Shirsho Kagoj to explain why punitive measure should not be taken against her for not disclosing the sources of the report titled 'A HC judge whitens blackmoney'. Advocate Manzil Murshid recently submitted an Affidavit to the HC, opposing the HC directive, on behalf of Nasrin Akhter stating that disclosing the sources of any report by any journalist is against the principles of journalism. If the sources of the report are disclosed, the profession will be affected as sources will not provide any further information to reporters. As a result people will be deprived of the right to information, the affidavit said.

On January 1, Bangladesh Chhatro league activists locked the rooms of three DU (Dhaka University) journalists of three daily newspapers. Some Dhaka University Correspondents were harassed. Ashraful Islam Kochi, DU Correspondent, The Daily Shangbad; Didarul Islam Manik, DU Correspondent, The Daily Naya Digonto and Ariful Islam, DU Correspondent, The Daily Shangram were harassed. The Chhatro league activists also tried to lock other journalists' room.

Attack/ Physical assault:
On January 1, Faisal Islam, a stuff reporter of the Daily Gramer Kagoj, was injured as unidentified miscreants hit him indiscriminately with sharp weapon while he was returning to his residence. Police said, miscreants attacked him with sharp weapon as he reached Sujulpur, in the outskirts of the town on his way back home from office. Injured Faisal said, the miscreants snatched his cell phone during the attack and also tried to kill him by hitting indiscriminately due to publish news, which went against his interest.

On January 3, Harun-Ur-Rashid Raju, reporter of the Gramer Kagoj published from Jessore and correspondent of the local Daily Mathabhanga, was attacked and bitten by Awami League supportive leader in Chuadanga. Eyewitnesses said, a group of 5/6 people attacked Raju at about 12:30 pm, when he was at Darshana old Bazaar area. The Chhatra League leader Khoka was involved in that attack.

On January 5, Arifuzzaman Arif (40), the Chief Reporter of a local newspaper, was injured severely by terrorist attack in Narayanganj.

On January 15, At least 10 students including two journalists were injured in a clash between two fractions of the Bangladesh Chhatra League at the Rajshahi University (RU) over establishing supremacy on the campus. Two injured journalists are MA Jahid, RU correspondent of the News Today and Sayem Sabu, RU correspondent of The Daily Jugantor. They were undergoing treatment at the Rajshahi University Medical Centre.

Declaration canceled:
On January 16, Zilla magistrate canceled the declaration of The Daily Nabab due to illegal publication. 

On January 5, Atiqullah Khan Masud, the Editor of the Daily Janakantha, was granted interim bail for four months in four corruption cases in which he was jailed for varying terms. The High Court (HC) bench of Justice Md Muzammel Hossain and Justice Afzal Hossain Ahmed passed the bail orders after hearing four petitions filed by Atiqullah.

On January 7, speakers demanded at a meeting to the newly elected government to establish a non-communal and progressive Bangladesh. They said, qualitative changes should come in our political arena after two years rule of the non-political government. The view-exchange meeting was organized by the Citizen Rights' Movement at the conference room of the National Press Club in the capital. Secretary General of the Organization, Tushar Rehman read out the written keynote. In the keynote he presented 18 points of demand to the elected government. He demanded autonomy to the Bangladesh Betar and the Bangladesh Television within 2009. Terming the mass media as a 'fourth estate' of the country, Tushar said, this government would have to establish the freedom of the press. Syed Abul Maksud, eminent said, this government has to maintain good governance for the well being of the people. If the government could control the price level of essential under the buying capacity of the people, it would be able to retain public support.

On January 9, Shangram Shingha, a stuff reporter of The Daily Jugantor and Sylhet correspondent of ETV, went abducted by the terrorists. They were beaten and pressurized to put signature on a white stamp. After an hour, hearing the news some local journalists rescued him. Shangram said, he was going to home from Gindabazar office at 7 pm and abducted for publishing report of The Daily Jugantor against a relative of Advocate Abdur Rokib.

On January 29, some unruly youths ransacked the office of a local daily for publishing news on the expulsion of Fulchhari Upazila Awami League President Akbar Hossain, also the upazila Chairman. Police said, being enraged at the publication of the news, against Fulchhari Upazila AL president, a group of youths attacked the office of the Janosanket.

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