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Article 19 concerned about the safety of journos in Bangladesh

Article 19 has expressed concern over the brutal killings of three media workers within the last three months in Bangladesh.

The international human rights organization demanded that the real culprits involved in the murders be brought to justice following a proper investigation said a press release on Sunday.

The rights organization pointed out that continued violence against journalists across the country, including the filled cases and arrests of journalists under the deeply flawed Digital Security Act of 2018, the recent brutal killings of three media workers.

Article 19 also said that journalist couple Sagar-Runi murder case in which the submission of an investigation report has been deferred for 89th time so far proved that the violation of the rights of journalists and crimes against journalists indicate the persisting culture of impunity and increasingly fragile state of freedom of expression in Bangladesh.

It called for a speedy investigation into all the incidents of crime against journalists, including murder, to ensure the safety of journalists in Bangladesh.

According to the organization, immediate materialization of the government's commitment to amend the Digital Security Act (DSA) is a must.

Faruq Faisel, regional director for Article 19 of South Asia, said: “Article 19 has been demanding reforms into the provisions of the Digital Security Act since 2018, which were identified as curbs to the right to freedom of expression and independent journalism.”

“Admitting the fact that the law has been misused and abused, several responsible ministers in the recent past have promised to reform the law with an assurance not to arrest journalists immediately sued under the law. However, the reality is different; cases and arrests under this law are rampant,” he added.

The organization recorded that 16 out of 71 journalists were arrested in three cases out of 35 under DSA in 2021.

On Wednesday, Abdul Bari, a senior production executive of DBC News, was found dead with marks of stabbing on his chest and neck in a bush on the bank of Hatirjheel Lake in the capital.

Meanwhile, it has recorded 62 incidents of physical assault on journalists across the country from January to May this year while 118 journalists were bodily injured in these incidents.

Police recovered the body of Abu Jafar Pradeep, a correspondent of local daily Sorejomin Barta, from a pond in Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali on June 6.

Earlier on April 13, Mohiuddin Sarkar Naeem, a journalist based in Comilla, was shot dead by miscreants while performing his professional duties in Burichang upazila.

The main accused in the murder case died immediately after the incident in a “gunfight”.

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