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RSF report a plot against country

Sheikh Hasina most press-friendly leader: Journos

Published : 08 Jul 2021 09:50 PM | Updated : 09 Jul 2021 01:24 AM

Senior journalists and the journalist community have termed the recent report of the Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) baseless, objectionable and unfounded.

They also opined the report, which maligned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is a deep- rooted conspiracy against Bangladesh.      

Farida Yasmin, country’s first female elected president of the National Press Club, the most prestigious platform of the journalists of the country, on Thursday said, the RSF report is completely objectionable.

The language of the report they used to attack the Prime Minister is not at all acceptable, the veteran journalist leader opined.

Journalists consider Sheikh Hasina as journalist-friendly Prime Minister because she has played a vibrant role in the development of journalism in Bangladesh. She formed the Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust for the well -being of the journalists. She is looking after the condition of journalists even during the devastating global pandemic COVID-19.

Farida Yasmin, also a prominent voice against violence against women and all sorts of extremism said, “ There may be some quarters who instigated such baseless and ill-motivated report, which is very unfortunate and objectionable.”

Criticizing the recent report of the RSF, former President of Dhaka Union of Journalists Abu Jafar Surjo said, “  In the context and reality of  Bangladesh, what is being done by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, by her government and by the state is actually for the betterment of the journalist community and journalism.”

He said adding that the RSF report was not prepared on the basis of any research. It was not any informative report.

Those who are involved in tarnishing the image of Bangladesh and its government by preparing such baseless reports are actually working against the interests of the journalists of the country, he opined.

He, however, said it is not possible to gain all facilities for the journalists in one day. Bangladesh is gradually giving maximum possible facilities for the progress of journalism.

Leaders of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), the highest trade union of the journalists, also strongly protested and condemned the report by the RSF.

In a statement on Wednesday, BFUJ President Molla Jalal and Acting Secretary General  Abdul Majid strongly condemned and protested the RSF report. 

They termed the report a misleading, unacceptable and intentional and is a part of an anti-Bangladesh conspiracy.

The two leaders said the popularity of journalist-friendly Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her strong leadership have created an environment for independent journalism in Bangladesh and enabled Bangladesh to move forward as a prosperous economy.

Being instigated by local and international vested quarters, RSF made the insulting and arrogant reports, BFUJ top brass leaders said.

The BFUJ leaders said the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has finalised the process of enacting a law on media workers to protect the rights and dignity of journalists. The broadcasting policy for TV channels is also in the final stages.

She has also formed the Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust to provide financial assistance to journalists in case of emergency, from which hundreds of sick, helpless and insolvent journalists are getting help including medical treatment every year.

In addition, she has provided financial assistance to thousands of journalists across the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is a rare example in this subcontinent.

 The journalist leaders said during the tenure of the present government, various  steps have been taken for the development and expansion of mass media. At present, more than 50 television  channels, more than 3,000 newspapers and more than 200 online news portals have been approved in the private sector. Moreover, many IP TVs are waiting for approval.

She also took steps to make Bangladesh  Press Council more effective  in resolving disputes over news coverage.

They said, with the dedicated efforts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB) is providing technology-based training to journalists for the betterment of journalism.

The Prime Minister has given plots to hundreds of journalists in city’s posh Dhanmondi, Gulshan and Uttara area and in Purbachal and Jhilmil projects to solve the housing problem of journalists. 

 BFUJ leaders said they think that these propaganda are part of an international conspiracy against the development and progress of Bangladesh. A selfish quarter of Bangladesh helps in such conspiracies.

 The BFUJ leaders said that Bangladesh has become a cause of jealousy for many quarters at home and abroad. 

This is why the conspirators are active at home and abroad, they said

The Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), the most powerful trade union of the Dhaka based journalists, also condemned RSF for misleading and unacceptable report on press freedom in Bangladesh.

In a statement on July 8, DUJ President Quddus Afrad and General Secretary  Sajjad Alam Khan Topu condemned the ill-motivated move of the RSF.

In a statement, Quddus Afrad and Sajjad Alam Khan Topu said the RSF report misrepresented Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's stand on the media. The journalist- friendly Prime Minister has been working relentlessly for the development of the media and the welfare of journalists. During her tenures, various initiatives were taken for the development of the media.

‘The provision of issuing summons, instead of  arresting journalists in defamation cases related to news reports, has also been made during her rule,  which is benefiting the journalist community.

The DUJ leaders said journalists work in the edited media. Unedited statements which are published through social media, are merely an expression of the individual's mental state, which does not fall within the practice of journalism.

The statement urged the RSF to consider the matter seriously.