Mentioning journalism is a noble profession, Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Saturday said that journalists open the third eye of society by bringing out the uncovered issues.
"So, don't equate journalism with crime, propaganda," he said at a Iftar Mahfil of Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) at DRU premises in the city's Segunbagicha area as the chief guest.
DRU President Mursalin Nomani and General Secretary Moinul Hasan Sohel gave the welcome speeches. DRU Vice President Dipu Sarwar and incumbent and former executive committee members as well as general members of the journalists' body joined the Iftar Mahfil.
While speaking about the arrest of a Prothom Alo journalist, Hasan Mahmud said, "Trying to lure a 10-year-old boy with Taka 10 to tell something against the independence and sovereignty in front of the National Memorial on Independence Day and publishing comments in the name of that boy even if he doesn't say anything goes not only against the ethics of journalism in Bangladesh but also against the rules of journalism around the world."
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has been clearly violated in the report, and the country's independence and sovereignty have been ridiculed, he said, adding: "The case has been filed as these crimes have been committed. I request you not to blend journalism with it. However, the government is observing so that no one is harassed."
Many reports are published in the country's newspapers and television channels almost every day centring the cost of living crisis prices of essentials and criticizing the government, he said filing a case is a far matter in this regard, even though no one asked about it on behalf of the government.
"However, after this incident, the concerned newspaper told foreign media that their journalist has been arrested for publishing reports on daily essential prices. By saying this they have provoked them. Completely fabricated and false propaganda that actually goes against the state," the minister added.
Hasan, also Awami League's (AL) joint general secretary, condemned the assault on journalists at the BNP's Iftar mahfil at Pallabi in the city on Friday.
He also reiterated that the government believes in the freedom of the media and always wants to maintain it.