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Dhaka Tribune

Journalist murdered, 154 others harassed in nine months

The statistics were made based on ten national dailies and information from their local sources

Update : 01 Oct 2021, 08:22 PM

There has been little improvement in the treatment of journalists in the country this year, according to a recent report by human rights group Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK). 

One journalist, Borhanuddin alias Mozakkir, 25, was shot to death while he was conducting his professional duties during a clash between two groups of Awami League in Companigonj, the report found.

At least 154 more journalists were reportedly subjected to attacks, harassment, and intimidation by state officials and others affiliated with the Bangladesh government, added the Statistical Report on Human Rights Violations (HRVs) January - September 2021.  

According to ASK, the number was 247 in 2020, when two other journalists died.

The statistics were made based on ten national dailies and information from their local sources.  

The human rights watchdog’s data for January to August showed that 29 cases were filed against published news during the time, while journalists were subject to torture, attacks, threats, harassment or bombs thrown by terrorists in 31 incidents.

As many as 90 cases were filed against published news in 2020.

Also Read - CPJ: Stop probing bank accounts of journo Rozina, 11 others

They found seven cases of torture, harassment, and threats by law enforcement agencies in the first eight months and eight cases of death threats by govt officials, UNOs, drug dealers, terrorists and anonymous phone calls.

At least 14 incidents of torture, threats and harassment by govt officials and employees were also recorded during the time.

Up to 48 people killed in 'crossfire'

As many as 48 people died in shootings by law enforcement officials or while in their custody. Among them, 34 died in shootings with police or RAB and nine were gunned down by other law enforcement agencies.

Besides, four people reportedly died from torture and one allegedly died after having a heart attack following arrest by police.

Meanwhile, at least 67 detainees or prisoners died after being sick in prisons.

VAW: Over 1000 women and girls raped

The first nine months of 2021 saw more violence against women than over the same period in 2020, ASK said.

According to the organization, some 1,085 women or girls were raped or gang raped. Among them, 879 were raped and 203 survived after gang rape.

Also Read - Rights experts: Enforcement of DSA is abusive

As many as 39 women or girls were killed after rape and eight committed suicide.

Meanwhile, around 101 women were sexually harassed in the country, with at least 10 of the women committing suicide. Three others were murdered.

As many as 71 men encountered the sexual assaulters and four of them were killed in the past nine months.

At least 182 women were reportedly tortured by in-laws for dowry. Among them, 60 were killed and 12 committed suicide.

Mahila Parishad: 185 girls married in September alone   

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad in a press release on Thursday said they recorded 190 incidents of child marriage from 13 national dailies and many other local newspapers last month.

Among them, five girls were rescued while 185 girls were married.

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