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TV journalists attacked in Bangladesh

This statement was originally published on ifj.org on 8 November 2016.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) in condemning the attack on two television journalists in Chawkbazar, Dhaka on November 6, 2016. The IFJ demands immediate action from authorities to arrest and punish the attackers.

A dozen people assaulted reporter Shakil Hasan and cameraperson Shahin Alam of Jamuna TV as they were reporting on illegal polythene factories. The gang, including owners of two polythene factories, also tried to burn the reporter with kerosene.

"Soon after we went there to report, a few men told us to steer clear of any trouble. As we were leaving, about 10 men came running and began to beat us up," said Hasan who ran into a nearby grocery store for shelter. "The attackers followed me and grabbed a jar of kerosene from the shop and poured it on me, soaking my shirt, pants and shoes. People standing nearby intervened and took the man with the matchstick away."

Local residents provided shelter to them until the police rescued them. The attackers damaged the camera, lights and microphone carried by the crew. A case of attempt to murder has been filed by Hasan, but police are yet to arrest anyone.

The IFJ said: "The IFJ condemns the attack on journalists Shakil Hasan and Shahin Alam in Dhaka and demands urgent action from police to arrest and punish the culprits. The attacks on journalists in Bangladesh are increasing, fuelled by the culture of impunity for crimes against journalists. The Bangladesh government should plan concrete action to ensure safety for journalists and [an end to] impunity."

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