Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | ePaper

Readers’ Forum

Impunity: Bangladesh's Scorecard Grows Longer

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Bangladesh has an appalling record of press freedom and freedom of expression since the country switched to Parliamentary Democracy in 1991 after decade and half of military dictatorship.
According to impunity scorecard, 35 journalists, bloggers, freelancers have been killed in Bangladesh since 1992 to 2019, according to a draft Impunity Scorecard 2019 prepared by Freedom of Expression, Bangladesh (FExB).
The highest numbers of journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and media practitioners were killed, at least 5 persons each in 2004 and 2015.
However, there were zero casualties for seven consecutive years in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2019. The zero casualty phenomenons are difficult to determine. A con clusive statement could only be made after an extensive anthropological research.
Unfortunately most of the deaths are caused by non-state actors. Their mission was to "shoot the messenger", to stop exposing the underworld crimes, smuggling, left extremists and radicalized Islamists. The predators of journalists remain mysterious, nameless and unidentified non-state actors, which is the biggest threat to journalists in Bangladesh. Bangladesh law enforcing agencies and the judiciary have equally failed to deliver justice for crimes against journalists and bloggers.
Police authorities investigating the murder cases says that the motives behind all these killings could not be confirmed, therefore the prime suspect, the predators could not be nabbed.
Saleem Samad
Bangladesh Correspondent
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

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