Bangladesh Expatriate Rights Council on Wednesday demanded withdrawal of cases filed against Prothom Alo senior journalist Rozina Islam and her immediate release.
‘On May 17, we witnessed the horrific arrest of investigative journalist Rozina Islam in Bangladesh, Dhaka. When journalists are accused of criminal charges for performing their professional duties, this means that the state is defining a boundary beyond which no one is eligible to exercise their right to freedom of expression,’ reads a BERC release.
Bangladesh’s media industry has grown rapidly in the last decade, with new print and online media entering the market. But journalists are still deprived of professional rights that restrict their freedom to work.
In the 2021 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders, RSF, Bangladesh came in at 152 out of 180 countries, which is one point below the 2020 ranking. In the index, RSF said it noted a ‘disturbing increase in press freedom violations, including violence by political activists against reporters in the field, the arbitrary blocking of news websites, and arbitrary arrests of journalists,’ the release added.
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