RSF appalled by stabbing attack on local newspaper editor in Bangladesh

Rashid Chowdhury, rédacteur en chef du quotidien local Dainik Agrabani Pratidin.

A local newspaper editor was the victim of a stabbing attack by gang members last weekend in Bangladesh, two days after publishing an article about a clash between rival gangs. The authorities must not allow this murder attempt to go unpunished, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Dainik Agrabani Pratidin editor, Mohammad Rashid Chowdhury, 28, narrowly escaped death when he was ambushed and stabbed as he was returning home on the evening of 14 May in Narayanganj, a city on the southern outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.

He survived thanks to the intervention of passers-by and, although hospitalised with serious injuries, his life is no longer in danger.

Narayanganj City Press Club general secretary, Syed Sifat Al Rahman, linked the attack to the article Chowdhury published two days earlier about a clash between gangs in Narayanganj. The police have reportedly identified two of his assailants although no one has so far been arrested.

“We call on the Bangladeshi authorities to immediately shed light on this murder attempt, to arrest the perpetrators and their instigators without delay, and to provide this journalist with protection,” said RSF spokesperson Pauline Adès-Mevel. “Ending impunity for crimes of violence against journalists should be a top priority for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government.”

Violence against journalists, including police violence, attacks by political activists and murders orchestrated by jihadists or criminal gangs often remain unpunished in Bangladesh. At least 18 journalists have been killed in Bangladesh in the past ten years, according to RSF’s tally. They include Ilyas Hossain, who was murdered by a criminal group in connection with his work in Narayanganj in October 2020.

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