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Bangladesh 26 May 2005

Journalists targets of sickening and growing violence

Reporters Without Borders urged the authorities to do their utmost to investigate growing attacks and threats to journalists including one in which three men marched a journalist to a cemetery at gunpoint and tried to bury him alive.

"It is essential that the instigators of these abuses should be punished so that journalists can again work in safety," said the worldwide press freedom organisation.

On 17 May 2005, Syed Monjur Morshed, editor and publisher of the English language bi-monthly The Horizon, was attacked by four men as he returned to his home in Gora near the capital Dhaka. They rushed at him and stabbed him in the abdomen with a knife. He was taken to hospital bleeding heavily and underwent an operation on 19 May.

Security forces who were at the scene failed to intervene during the attack. Morshed therefore decided not to report the incident to the police, since it seemed pointless.

He had received constant threats in the days leading up to the assault after he wrote an article in which he exposed fraud on the part of estate entrepreneur, Iqbal Sazzad. The journalist had also tipped off several major national dailies about the cases of embezzlement that, once revealed in the press, led to the agent’s arrest.

Reporters Without Borders said it was deeply shocked by a sickening attack on GM Shahid, editor of the weekly Aparadh Barta and correspondent for the daily Dainik Khobor Patra, on 21 May in Rupganj, close to the capital.

The journalist was returning home in the evening in a rickshaw when he was jumped by three men, who threatened him with a gun and stuck sticky tape on his mouth to prevent him from shouting for help. They marched him to a cemetery where they beat him with a hammer and tried to bury him alive.

The journalist managed to fight back and to shout out, so that the three assailants finally fled leaving him there. It was only three hours later that local residents came to assist him and take him to a doctor where he received first aid. The attack was very probably linked to his work as a journalist.

In Golachipa in the south of the country, Sumit Kumar Dutta, of the daily Dainik Ittefaq, received death threats from a criminal known in the area, Hye Gazi, angry at the journalist’s articles on his embezzlement in the area. Gazi also threatened other journalists if they wrote articles about his activities. Kumar Dutta reported the threats and asked for protection from the local authorities.




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in the annual report
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