Press Statement

Bangladesh: Two journalists attacked on duty

03 Jun, 2024

Assaults have rocked Bangladesh’s media community, with journalist Aklakur Rahman Akash suffering serious damage to his eye following an assault near a factory in Savar on May 26, while journalist Enamul Haque was stabbed on May 27 while investigating a rice mill in Islampur. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the attacks against journalists and urges Bangladeshi authorities to launch immediate and transparent investigations of the incidents and uphold press freedom.

On May 26, Daily Star Savar correspondent Aklakur Rahman Akash was attacked while covering a dispute between owners of a ceramic factory in Savar on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka. According to media reports, Akash sustained injuries to his face, head, and other parts of his body, with severe damage to his left eye. According to Akash, he was attacked by the supporters of the rival owner while taking photographs of vandalism at the factory during a reported raid on the premises. The assailants took his phone during the assault.

Akash was rescued when journalists from other media outlets arrived on the scene. The police arrested two people connected to the assault on May 27, who were sent to court. They also found Akash’s phone on the factory premises. Media collectives, including the Bangladeshi Journalists in International Media (BJIM), have strongly denounced the assault on Akash and demanded a comprehensive and unbiased investigation.

In a separate incident, journalist Enamul Haque, a local correspondent of Dainik Kalbela in Islampur was stabbed while investigating the stocking practices of the Asad Dali Rice Mill, meant to feed people in need under the Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme.

Haque was accompanied by three local journalists on this assignment, and shortly after arrival, they entered into a confrontation with the mill’s owner. Haque was stabbed by the owner of the mill, and transported to receive medical care at the Jamalpur General Hospital. by police. No cases have been filed in relation to the attack, with the mill owner believed to be in hiding.

In the 22nd annual South Asia Press Freedom Report 2023-2024, Artificial Independence: The Fight to Save Media and Democracy, the IFJ recorded 19 non-fatal attacks on journalists and media workers in Bangladesh, with a further three colleagues killed between May 1, 2023, and April 30, 2024.

The IFJ said: “Journalists and media workers in Bangladesh must be free to report without retribution, with these recent attacks indicative of the profound threats facing the nation’s media community. Authorities must take these attacks seriously and ensure that the perpetrators are held to account under the law.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
Find the IFJ on Facebook: