Press Statement/July 28, 2023
BJIM expresses concern about police treatment of journalists
Bangladeshi Journalists in International Media (BJIM) expresses deep concern over law enforcement officials harassing journalists while covering a political event in Dhaka on Thursday (July 27, 2023)
Muktadir Rashid, a BJIM member who also works for a prestigious English-language daily newspaper New Age, was scolded by an officer for taking photos near a political party office in the capital ahead of its pre-planned Friday programme.
BJIM also spoke to Veer Sahabi, a reporter at Daily Share Biz newspaper, who was filming events with his phone in the same area. Veer said a police officer snatched away his handset and asked him to leave. The officer confiscated both of his phones while asking the reporter to showcase his employer's registration. Later his phones were returned but he was, again, forced to leave the scene.
A photojournalist who was also harassed by some police officers spoke to BJIM on condition of anonymity stating he was verbally abused despite he showed his press credentials to the members of the police.
Such unprofessional and unfortunate treatment towards newspersons from members of a law enforcement agency flags the necessity of being aware of press freedom. It also highlights the pressing significance of safeguarding press freedom.
BJIM urges the law enforcement authorities to exercise restraint and requests the top authorities to investigate further into this matter.