CPJ DELEGATION URGES GOVERNMENT TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST MEDIA
During a press conference in Dhaka on 5 March 2004 that followed a week-long fact-finding mission to Bangladesh, the delegation said that those who try to silence journalists must be held accountable.
Noted Ann Cooper, CPJ's Executive Director, "It takes real courage to be a journalist in Bangladesh. Physical assaults and intimidation are almost commonplace, particularly in rural areas, where journalists are threatened, beaten severely, or even murdered, just for reporting the news." Since 1997, CPJ asserted, at least seven Bangladeshi journalists have been killed for their reporting. Vigorous prosecutions of suspected perpetrators are rare.
In addition, the CPJ delegation urged police recognition of the right of journalists to cover public demonstrations safely, and an end to the use of sedition or anti-state charges to detain journalists.
The delegation also expressed its concern to government officials that its movements were under constant surveillance, creating an intimidating atmosphere as its members sought to discuss press freedom issues with members of the country's media.
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