Journalists attacked in court precincts in Sylhet, Bangladesh29 Jan, 2018
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) condemn the attack on two journalists in Sylhet Court area on January 25. The IFJ demands that the Bangladeshi authorities take immediate action to punish the attackers and create a safe environment for journalists to carry out their duties.
Nirananda Paul, a video journalist with Jamuna TV, and Mamun Hasan, photojournalist with the Jugantor daily, were at the court to cover the bail decision on a local Awami League (AL) leader Liaquat Ali in a murder case. They were recording video footage and taking photos of Ali and 29 others while the accused were being taken to jail after the court declined to regularize the interim bail, when around 50 AL cadres attacked them.
They were rescued by other journalists and were taken to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital where they received treatment, Paul for grave injuries. Their cameras were damaged in the attack. Twenty-one AL activists have been charged for assaulting the journalists.
The BMSF has strongly condemned the attack.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ condemns the attack on two journalists in Sylhet Court area while they were reporting a matter of public interest. The attack, in the supposedly safe court premises, is against the principle of press freedom and violates journalists’ rights. Such acts weaken independent journalism. The IFJ urges the concerned Bangladeshi authority to take appropriate action to punish the attackers.”