Oikyafront said six journalists have so far died from coronavirus while 224 others have been infected. Representational image
Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, on Thursday demanded the government to announce risk allowance for journalists infected with coronavirus and the family members of those who died of COVID-19.
In a statement, the top leaders of the alliance said journalists have been playing an outstanding role and discharging their professional duties risking their lives amid the pandemic as they did during any other critical time of the country.
They said journalists have been working to let people know the coronavirus situation and make them aware of the virus.
The Oikyafront leaders said six journalists have so far died from coronavirus while 224 others have been infected.
“Since journalists are performing their duties risking their lives at this time of coronavirus crisis, proper protective measures need to be taken for them … steps must be taken so that their salaries are ensured. Adequate allowances must be ensured for them considering the risk to their lives in discharging their duties,” they said.
The Oikyafront leaders also demanded the immediate release of journalists arrested for divulging the truth. “Any sort of harassment of journalists must be stopped in future. We need to keep in mind that in times of crisis, obstruction to freedom of speech can only aggravate the crisis and wreak havoc on human life.”
The signatories of the statement include Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Standing Committee members Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, JSD President ASM Abdur Rob, Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury and Gonoforum General Secretary Dr Reza Kibria.