Attacks on journalists rise in Bangladesh: Amnesty

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 04:08 hrs

London: A string of recent violent attacks against journalists and media workers, including the murder of a blogger in Bangladesh, shows the urgent need to better protect individuals commenting on Bangladesh's ongoing war crimes tribunal, Amnesty International has said.

The latest attack which took place yesterday morning left a journalist from an online news site seriously injured.

Those targeted include journalists and bloggers calling on the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) to impose death sentences on people accused of mass scale human rights abuses during Bangladesh's 1971 independence war.

"The government must do their utmost to ensure that individuals at risk of retaliation for commenting on or interacting with the ICT are given the protection they need. People must be able to exercise their right to freedom of expression without fear," said Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International's Bangladesh Researcher.

On February 15, blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar was brutally beaten and stabbed to death in his home in the capital Dhaka.

Haidar is a well-known blogger and had posted comments critical of the opposition political party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), one senior leader of which has been convicted and seven more are facing trial at the ICT.

Early yesterday morning, Sumon Mahbub, a journalist with the online news site, was left seriously injured after being rammed by a car in an apparently targeted attack in Dhaka. 

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