Journalists in Bangladesh have held a protest outside the Jashore Press Club following numerous alleged assaults of journalists across several university campuses by Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders and activists
The aftermath of an attack on journalists and activists at Dhaka University by BCL members in February, 2023. PhotoTwitter
Journalists in Bangladesh have held a protest outside the Jashore Press Club following numerous alleged assaults of journalists across several university campuses by Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders and activists. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned the attacks and urged the local authorities to conduct immediate and transparent investigations into the incidents.
On May 24, journalists working at the Jashore University of Science and Technology formed a human chain in front of the Jashore Press Club, protesting attacks against journalists allegedly by members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), a student political organisation affiliated to the ruling Bangladesh Awami League.
According to New Age, protestors decried BCL’s attacks on university-based journalists, including the alleged assault of Bangladesh Post university correspondent Jahurul Islam by BCL leadership and activists on May 22, and the May 20 assault of journalist Sajubar Rahman, among other cases in 2022. The reasons behind the assaults were not disclosed.
Media workers and journalists from other outlets have also been subject to assault. At a March 23 protest organised by BCL members, several demonstrators armed with machetes, iron pipes, and rods allegedly chased and assaulted campus correspondents Jubair Ahmed of The Bangladesh Today and Abdullah Al Mamun of DBC News who were covering the clash. In April 2022, BCL activists allegedly assaulted Dhaka University student journalist Rifat Haque and a correspondent for an online news outlet, after the journalists failed to make a positive report concerning the president of a hall unit.
In a statement, South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) member, the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF), condemned the alleged attack and torture of the journalists, calling for authorities to “take immediate legal action” against those responsible.
The IFJ said: “Greater efforts must be taken to ensure impunity is not permitted to continue for violent attacks and threats against university journalists and media workers. The IFJ calls on Bangladeshi authorities to investigate the claims and build sustainable action to guarantee the safety of all working journalists in Bangladesh.”