Tougher politics, more press freedom violations
Bangladeshi journalists have been among the leading collateral victims of the tough methods adopted by the ruling Awami League and its boss, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The campaign leading up to her reelection in late 2018 was accompanied by 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 internationally recognized photojournalist Shahidul Alam was held for more than 100 days on completely spurious grounds, in an example of how the judicial system is used to silence those who annoy the government. The executive’s latest weapon is the digital security law adopted in October 2018, under which “negative propaganda” is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Radical Islamist militants meanwhile harass and murder journalists and bloggers who dare to defend an overly secular vision of society.
146 in 2018
48.62 in 2018