(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to Home Affairs Minister Mohammad Nasim, RSF expressed its indignation at the murder of Shamsur Rahman, a journalist with the daily "Janakantha" and contributor to BBC radio. RSF noted the action taken by the minister to find the culprits and urged him to do everything possible to establish "the motives for the murder and to punish both the killers and their sleeping partners with heavy jail sentences". According to Robert Ménard, the organisation's secretary-general, the murder of the journalist served as a reminder of "the risks facing Bangladeshi journalists reporting on mafia and armed groups." RSF also noted that Rahman was the third reporter to have been killed in this area in less than two years.
According to information obtained by RSF, Rahman, 43, a journalist with the private daily "Janakantha", published in Dhaka (capital of the country), and a contributor to the Bengali service of BBC, was shot dead, in the head and chest, in Jessore (western Bangladesh) on 16 July 2000. Two unknown assailants entered his office and shot him at close range. Police suspect local mafia in this Indian border province. The journalist had been reporting on the illegal activities of a local mafia. He had also investigated the Sarbahara Party, one of the leftist armed movements active in the region. In March 1999, he escaped a murder attempt in Jessore. He had recently received death threats by telephone.
In August 1998, Saiful Alam Mukul, editor-in-chief of the daily "Runner", known as a fierce critic of local politicians, was killed in Jessore (see IFEX alerts of 2 and 1 September and 31 August 1998). In January 2000, Mir Illais Hossain, director of the daily "Bir Darpan", was killed by two unknown assailants in Jhenaidah, also in the south-west see IFEX alert of 17 January 2000).