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Attacks on journos

BFUJ condemns BNP-Jamaat, OHCHR statement

Published : 07 Nov 2023 01:52 AM

BFUJ-Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists has strongly condemned the attacks on journalists and camera-persons allegedly by BNP cadres on October 28 and denounced a statement issued by UN's human rights body on November 1 over the incident.

“We condemn the heinous attacks on reporters, camera-journalists and others on October 28 by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists, who violently locked into clashes with the police and killed a policeman,” a BFUJ statement signed by its Secretary General Dip Azad said on Monday.

 Over a hundred policemen and at least 35 journalists were injured in the assault on that day during the BNP’s grand rally in front of its central office, it added.

“We are dismayed and disappointed by the press note issued by the UN's human rights body, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on November 1, 2023, which expressed concern over the violent incidents in Bangladesh,” said the country’s apex body of the journalists in the statement.

BSS adds: The BFUJ found the press note to be biased, baseless, and misleading as it ignored the reality and the context of the events, it said, adding, “We strongly reject the allegations and insinuations made by the OHCHR”.

Noting that the BFUJ, the national trade union federation of the professional journalists, upholds the principles of press freedom, ethical journalism, and social responsibility, the statement said, “We also act as watchdogs of democracy and human rights in our country and beyond”.

“We urge the OHCHR and other international organizations and agencies to refrain from making hasty and ill-motivated statements or interventions on the internal affairs of Bangladesh, without verifying the facts and understanding the situation,” it said.

The BFUJ collected the names, contacts, and verbal recorded testimonies of the injured journalists, who were attacked on October 28, the statement said, adding, the journalists’ body wants to invite the OHCHR to listen to their accounts and perspectives.

The BFUJ will arrange a meeting with the journalists, who were attacked on that day, at a convenient time and place, it read.

“We urge UN bodies and other international organizations to verify and validate information from trustworthy sources, especially those within the country, before taking any stance on human rights issues,” the statement said.