• Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018
  • Last Update : 02:22 am

Ending the culture of impunity

  • Published at 06:58 pm November 1st, 2018
Press
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Bangladesh remains one of the countries where journalists are frequently faced with violence, and perpetrators too often elude punishment

Journalists in Bangladesh -- and all over the world -- often find themselves in difficult, even dangerous, situations, simply for following their professional obligations.

Such is the nature of the job.

For a democracy to function smoothly, the citizenry must be informed, and to that end, journalists play a critical role in conveying news and information to fulfill the citizenry’s right to know, and make informed decisions.

Bangladesh remains one of the countries where journalists are frequently faced with violence, and perpetrators too often elude punishment.

In the recent students protests, we have seen journalists badly hurt in the line of duty -- media personnel were seen attacked with sticks, iron rods, and machetes by student cadres, sometimes in the presence of law enforcement officers who stood by and did nothing to stop this violence. 

So far, little to no action has been taken against the perpetrators, and our failure as a nation to protect the safety of journalists is shameful.

The sad truth is, journalists are often targeted in order to suppress the truth, and attempts to intimidate and silence the press, if allowed to stand, will take this country in a direction we do not wish to go.

Today is the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists -- a UN-recognized day to draw attention to how alarmingly frequently violent crimes against journalists and media professionals go unpunished.

On this day, let us remember that press freedom is an essential tenet of democracy, and let us not tolerate any violence, threats, or intimidation against journalists who risk life and limb to report the news.