New Year brings sad news as a young Bangladeshi journalist was killed in the first half of 2023. Ashiqul Islam (27), who worked for Dainik Paryabekhyan from Brahmanbaria locality (which is adjacent to India’s north-eastern State of Tripura) was hacked to death on 9 January by a group of miscreants. Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the Geneva-based global media safety and rights body condemned the killing and demanded a fair probe to book the culprits under the law.
“We have just passed a deadly year for working journalists with 116 casualties across the world. Ukraine has lost 34 media persons followed by Mexico (17), Haiti (8), Pakistan (6), Philippines (5), Colombia, India (4 each), Bangladesh, Israel/Palestine, Honduras, Yemen (3 each), etc in 2022,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch).
Urging Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for a high level enquiry to investigate the motive of perpetrators, Lempen also called for an international convention over the matter of jouno-murders.
PEC’s south Asia representative Nava Thakuria reveals that Ashiqul was returning home attending an evening function when he was targeted by a group of assailants. The culprits left Ashiqul seriously injured. He was taken to a nearby hospital by onlookers, but soon succumbed to wounds. The Bangla police have arrested at least one individual suspecting his involvement with the murder and investigating the motive of killers.
Last year, Bangladesh lost journalists Hashibur Rahaman Rubel, Mohiuddin Sarker Nayeem and Abdul Bari to assailants. On the other hand, India witnessed the murder of Rohit Kumar Biswal, Sudhir Saini, Juned Khan Pathan and Subhash Kumar Mahato. Pakistan lost Sadaf Naeem, Arshad Sharif, Muhammad Younis, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasnain Shah, Murtaza Shar and Athar Mateen in different incidents. Similarly, Myanmar lost photojournalist Aye Kyaw and reporter Pu Tui Dim to the relentless military atrocities during 2022.