30 juin 2003

IFJ Protests Violent Attack Against Journalist in Bangladesh

The International Federation of Journalists has protested to the Government of Bangladesh over the violent attack and kidnap of journalist Abul Bashar.

27 June 2003

The Hon Begum Khaleda Zia
Prime Minister
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 880 2 881 0407

Dear Prime Minister,

The International Federation of Journalists, the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned over the violent attack against Abul Bashar the local correspondent from the Bengali-language national daily newspaper Janakantha (The People's Voice) in Shariatpur district, which is located in southern Bangladesh.

According to our information, on June 19, Bashar was removed forcibly from his office and kidnapped by members of the Jatiyatabadi Chattra Dal (JCD), a student group associated with the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Bashar was taken to the district BNP headquarters where he was shot at and brutally attacked - resulting in injuries to his backbone, skull, and eyes.

Bashar was checked into a hospital to receive treatment for his injuries, however, claims to have been expelled from the hospital by armed members of the BNP the following day.

Bashar filed a complaint with the Shariatpur Police Station, on June 23, but according to our information there has been no arrests connected to the case. Bashar has since left the area for fear of further attacks.

The motive behind the attack is an article published by Janakantha detailing attacks on Shariatpur residents carried out by the JCD.

The IFJ demands that the Government of Bangladesh launch a full investigation into the attacks against Bashar and work to bring those involved to justice. The Government of Bangladesh must work to ensure that journalists are free from fear of violence or reprisal, as a free and independent media is central to ensure democracy.

Thus, the IFJ asks that the Government of Bangladesh ensure press freedom and safety of all journalists working in Bangladesh.

Yours Sincerely

Christopher Warren
President, IFJ

Recommended Action:

Send appeals to the Government of Bangladesh:

o Condemning the attack against Abul Bashar
o Urging the Government of Bangladesh to launch a full investigation into the attack
o Ensure press freedom and safety in Bangladesh


The Hon Begum Khaleda Zia
Prime Minister
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
VIA FACSIMILE: 0015 880 2 881 0407

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