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Journos to go for hunger strike on Wednesday

  • Published at 10:05 pm September 4th, 2018
Journalists-road safety movement-helmet
File photo: Unidentified men wielding metal rods and sharp weapons attack freelance photojournalist Rahat Karim while attempting to break his camera in Dhaka’s Science Laboratory area on Sunday, August 5, 2018 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Hunger strike will take place from 12-2pm in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday

Journalists from different media outlets have decided to go on a token hunger strike demanding immediate arrest of those that attacked their colleagues during the road safety movement. 

Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) General Secretary Sohel Haider Chowdhury said their emblematic hunger strike will take place from 12-2pm in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The protest was announced at a human chain formed at the same venue on August 28, when journalist leaders, under the banner of different platforms, threatened to go for tougher protests to press home their four-point demand- which includes the immediate arrest of the attackers.

Journalists in association with Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) also expressed their desire to join in the hunger strike alongside leaders and members of DUJ.

On August 28, journalist leaders submitted a memorandum to the Home Ministry for immediate implementation of their demands.

The rest of the four-point demand are- the immediate completion of the trial of slain journalist couple Sagor-Runi, an end to torture and harassment of journalists by police, and the completion of countrywide trials of pending journalist murder cases.

Journalist leaders protested and demanded justice for the miscreant attacks on their colleagues, in the presence of law enforcers, in different parts of Dhaka during the road safety movement as well.

They have also alleged that law enforcement agencies kept showing reluctance in identifying the attackers, even though photos and videos of the latter swooping on the media workers went viral in a number of media outlets, including social media. 

Sources in the Detective Branch of police (DB) have repeatedly said they are still working to identify the attackers, and the press will be updated about developments, if there are any.

On August 13, eight days after at least 23 media workers were assaulted and their equipment vandalized by unidentified attackers while covering student protests in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi, the inspector general of police (IGP) said detectives had started working on the matter. 

Two days ago, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said they were waiting for journalists to file cases over the attack-- a call that was vigorously condemned by many journalist leaders.

On August 7, journalist leaders declared a 72-hour ultimatum to identify the attackers. The same day, Information Minister HasanulHaqInu urged the home minister to identify and bring the attackers to justice. 

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