Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Alert on Media Situation in Bangladesh

Source: Asia Media Forum
Posted: 2007-08-28
The Asia Media Forum (AMF) expresses grave concerns over the reported harassments, assaults and intimidation of journalists and gagging of the media in Bangladesh and denounces the repression of the journalists.

The AMF also expresses solidarity with the journalists' community in Bangladesh, and strongly demands that the journalists be allowed to discharge their professional responsibilities without any hindrance.

The AMF notes with grave concern that the law-enforcing agencies resorted to assaults of the journalists, both print and electronic, while they were covering the students protesting against the high-handedness of the army personnel and demanding the lifting of the state of emergency that suspended fundamental rights of the citizens.

The AMF also notes that despite repeated government assurances of press freedom, the law enforcers resorted to detention, assaults, intimidation and humiliation of the media people particularly since the imposition of curfew on Aug 21. Over the last few days, dozens of journalists and photo-journalists were detained, scores of others beaten up, several dozens of media workers intimidated.

The AMF also expresses concern over the government's overt (officially intimidating two private TV channels — Ekushey and CSB) and covert attempts (telephonic instructions to media executives by the government agencies) to gag the press.

Under theses circumstances, the AMF urges the government of Bangladesh to immediately stop the repression of the journalists and gagging of the media, and thus ensure the people's inalienable right to remain informed about whatever development, political and otherwise, takes place in the society and state.

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