Charges Against Editor in Bangladesh Suggest Vendetta
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is worried at the multiple charges brought against Mohammad Ekramul Haq, editor of the Sheersha News web portal and the associated weekly newspaper Sheersha Kagoj, after his arrest in Dhaka on charges of extortion on July 31.
Initially remanded for two days on orders of the Dhaka city magistrate, Haq’s remand was extended by another two days on August 3, after fresh charges of extortion were laid against him by the leader of an association of Bangladesh government employees.
Media freedom bodies in Bangladesh and opposition parties have denounced the arrest and the subsequent remand of the journalist as a thinly concealed political vendetta for his critical news reporting, which pointed to suspicions of corruption in the execution of public works projects.
“The laying of multiple charges against independent journalists is a way of keeping them in jail for a prolonged period and intimidating them to stop their critical reporting,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“The IFJ urges the Bangladesh authorities not to keep Haq under custody on flimsy and unsubstantiated charges and to grant him freedom to resume his journalism.”
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