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Journalists stage symbolic hunger strike demanding justice

  • Published at 02:56 am September 6th, 2018
Journalists, demanding justice for their colleagues who were attacked during student protests in the capital last month, stage a symbolic hunger strike at the National Press Club premises in Dhaka on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 <strong>Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune</strong>
Journalists, demanding justice for their colleagues who were attacked during student protests in the capital last month, stage a symbolic hunger strike at the National Press Club premises in Dhaka on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The strike, which started from 9am, lasted over five hours

Leaders of the several journalist associations on Wednesday staged a symbolic hunger strike at the National Press Club premises demanding justice for their colleagues who were attacked while covering clashes between students and police and alleged ruling party activists during a movement for safer roads last month.

The strike, which started from 9am,lasted over five hours.

Bangladesh Federal Union Journalists (BFUJ) President Molla Jalal and Secretary Shaban Mahmud, Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) President Abu JafarSurjoand General Secretary Sohel Haider Chowdhury, Press Club General Secretary Farida Yasmin, Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) President Saiful Haq, Dhaka Sub-Editors Council President KM Shahidul Haque and General Secretary Shahadat Rana, among others, attended the hunger strike.

Shaban Mahmud said that the journalistcommunity never get any justice, especiallywhen it comes to murders of journalists, even after months. “No concrete investigation has taken place, we did not get any update or no trial till now,” he alleged.

“It seems like journalists will also have to take to streets to get justice,”he said.

He said they have already submitted a memorandum to the Home Ministry,but there have been no results. “If we do notsee any visible action or outcome, we will go for tougher movement.”

Abu Jafar said: “The ministers and authorities told us to file cases, nothing has happened till now at all. The situation is worsening day by day."

Saiful said: “It’s been a month since the incidents, butwe are yet to see any progress of the investigation, steps to meet our demands or even the arrest of those who attacked the journalists.

“We have tried to draw attention of all the ministries and authorities concerned. But it seems like everything we did was for nothing.Even the Sagar-Runi murder case is also yet to be solved.”

Sohel Haider added that the journalists continue to be victimized in different forms. “While some of the media houses pay as per the Wage Board, the owners of many others still do not pay the salary in line with the pay scale.”

He called for government intervention to solve this issue too.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal broke the symbolic hunger strike of the journalists around 3pm, reiterating that the authorities would do everything to identify and bring those who were involved in the attacks to book.

On August 5, at least 23 journalists and photojournalists were attacked and their equipment vandalized by unidentified attackers while covering the student protests in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi area. Some of them were left with critical injuries.