Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Bangladesh 2 November 2006

Photographer arrested and tortured, 15 other journalists attacked while covering protests

Reporters Without Borders today called for the immediate release of photographer Shafiqul Islam Shafiq of the Focus Bangla photo news agency, who has reportedly been tortured since his arrest by an elite home affairs ministry unit on 28 October in Shikdari Bazar, in the northwestern Rajshahi region, on unfounded allegations of links with extremist movements.

Following his arrest by plain-clothes members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), he was taken handcuffed and hooded to a camp at Atrai, where he was interrogated and mistreated, one of his brothers said. Thereafter he was taken to a police station and charged under article 54 of the criminal code.

When taken before a judge, he said he was tortured for eight hours, above all by means of electric shocks. RAB personnel told him four other journalists were on a list of people to be interrogated, he said. The authorities are apparently accusing him of being in contact with Islamist extremists. He was already arrested and mistreated by the RAB last year.

Reporters Without Borders today also urged the security forces and activists of various political parties including the Awami League to respect the media when they are covering demonstrations.

A total of 15 media personnel were injured by police or demonstrators during protests on 28 October in Dhaka, Rajshahi and Mohonganj. The eight injured in Dhaka included Daily Shamokal veteran reporter Shafique Kajol, who was badly beaten by members of the Awami League’s youth wing. He is still in hospital. Those injured in the provinces include Hafizur Rahman Chayan of the Daily Shamokal, who was beaten by opposition activists in Mohonganj.

“It is disgraceful that 15 journalists were physically attacked in a space of less than 24 hours while trying to inform the public about events that are crucial for the country’s political future,” Reporters Without Borders added.




In this country
10 October - Bangladesh
Government challenged over torture of editor in Sylhet
19 September - Bangladesh
Cartoonist arrested over harmless play on name Mohammed
7 September - Bangladesh
Condemnation of closure of CBS News
29 August - Bangladeh
Government urged to lift censorship and guarantee journalists’ safety
12 May - Bangladesh
Authorities free journalist and human rights activist Tasneem Khalil

in the annual report
Bangladesh - Annual report 2008
Bangladesh - Annual report 2007
Bangladesh - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised