News Analysis: Journalists continue to suffer in Bangladesh

The newsmen in Bangladesh continue being subjected to violence and harassment while discharging their duties, as the world observed International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists on Tuesday.

In general, journalists across the globe are passing a challenging time, but the situation in Bangladesh is perhaps one of the most challenging. 

On this day, the United Nations secretary-general and three UN independent experts have reminded every state of their obligation to protect journalists and prosecute any violence against them.

Here in Bangladesh, hardly any day goes by when there is no report of journalists being attacked or harassed.

On October 31, four journalists were attacked while two days before that on October 29, another four newsmen came under attack at the capital's Pallabi area. These are just two of numerous such incidents.

If the past is any guide, the police actions in response to the attacks on journalists and subsequent court proceedings will go nowhere.

According to the global media freedom index, Bangladesh ranks 152 out of 180 countries, reflecting the overall situation of the country.

The infamous Digital Security Act makes things worse.

According to France-based rights organization Reporters Without Border (RSF), a total of 35 journalists have so far been killed in 2021, including two in Bangladesh.

Quoting Unesco, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday that in 2020, 62 journalists around the world were killed just for doing their job.

"I urge member states and the international community to stand in solidarity with journalists around the world today and every day, and to demonstrate the political will needed to investigate and prosecute crimes against journalists and media workers with the full force of the law," he said.

UN special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression Irene Khan, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Morris Tidball-Binz, and the special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem, issued a statement marking the day.

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