Mushfiqur Rahman has been missing since the evening of 3 August, when he was last seen in CCTV footage getting on the back of a motorcycle-taxi. That was after leaving his office at Mohona TV at around 5 pm, dining with his uncle in the residential neighbourhood of Gulshand and talking with his wife, Salma Rahman, by telephone.
“I talked to my husband at 7:03 pm over the phone. He spoke normally,” she told the Daily Star newspaper. His mobile phone was turned off at around 9 pm.
Rahman’s mysterious disappearance occurred two weeks after he received a death threat by telephone on 22 July. In the complaint he filed the next day with the police in Pallabi, the Dhaka district where he lives, he mentioned his investigation into corruption involving several governors of an important secondary school in Comilla, a city 110 km east of Dhaka.
“We urge home minister Assaduzzaman Khan to do everything possible to ensure that the police find this journalist and his abductors as quickly as possible,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “Thanks to the many clues, this case offers the government an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to protecting Bangladesh’s journalists, who are often the victims of extreme violence.”
Bangladesh is ranked 150th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, four places lower than in 2018.