It’s a blow to press freedom, says the rights body
Rights body Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) has expressed grave concern over the incident of two editors being sued for running reports on aid theft in Thakurgaon.
In a statement on Monday, its acting Executive Director M Mustafizur Rahman said the case filed under the Digital Security Act against bdnews24.com Editor-in-Chief Toufique Imrose Khalidi, Jagonews24.com acting Editor Mohiuddin Sarker and two others was a blow to press freedom.
It also raised concerns over reports from different parts of the country of journalists being threatened, harassed and assaulted.
“In recent times, multiple forms of harassment are reported against journalists including filing of case under controversial Digital Security Act or physical assault or other form of harassment,” reads the statement.
Activists or supporters of ruling Awami League have been found involved in all of these with all these incidents, according to the rights organization.
It urged authorities to ensure an atmosphere so that journalists can do their job safely as well as demanded legal actions against the perpetrators before calling to withdraw the case meant for harassing journalists.
Mominul Islam Bhasani, president of Baliadangi upazila Sechhasebak League in Thakurgaon, filed the case with the local police on April 18.
Charges have been brought under the Digital Security Act’s Sections 25, 29 and 31 for running reports containing "misinformation" on misappropriation of OMS rice in Thakurgaon.
Bhashani claimed that the news has tarnished the image of the individual and the Bangladesh Awami League.