Crime Reporters Association Bangladesh (Crab) on Thursday gave a seven-day ultimatum to a contractor company to withdraw a ‘false case’ that it filed against DBC journalist Saiful Islam Jewel and camera person Azad Ahmed. Crab raised the demand while staging a human chain and protest rally at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) premises in the capital's Segunbagicha. The journalist leaders expressed deep concern and strongly condemned the ‘false case’ filed against the journalists by Nazmul Hasan Bhuiyan, brother of Kawsar Bhuiyan, owner of contractor company Victor Trading. Read: Assault on Faridpur journo: Main accused held They said, On August 2, Kawsar and his associates attacked Jewel and Azar, leaving them seriously injured. Kawsar and his accomplices were arrested and currently in jail over the incident but now they are giving murder threats to the journos. The speakers said memorandums will be submitted to the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Home Affairs demanding the withdrawal of the case. If the case is not withdrawn within seven days, Crab, DRU, Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) will announce a united programme soon. DUJ president Sohel Haider Chowdhury, former president Abu Zafar Surya, DRU president Nazrul Islam Mithu, general secretary Nurul Islam Hasib, DRU former general secretary Kabir Ahmed Khan, former Crab general secretary Sarwar Alam, addressed the rally presided over by Crab president Mirza Mehedi Tamal.
The 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Bangladesh Sports Journalists’ Association (BSJA) was held on Saturday at its office premises at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.BSJA general secretary Anisur Rahman Paltu and treasurer Mazhar Uddin Omi presented their reports at the AGM, presided over by BSJA President ATM Saiduzzaman. The AGM gave emphasis on forming a welfare fund to help the BSJA members during crisis situation. Former BJSA Presidents Majurul Haque and Syed Mamun, former Vice Presidents Dilu Khodakar, Kamal Ahmed, Arifur Rahman Babu, among others, took part in the discussion on different issues. Read: Babu emerges best player in Walton-BSJA Sports CarnivalCountry's leading sports journalists and sports editors of national dailies, news agencies, electronic and online media were present at the meeting.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said on Sunday that the Press Council was working to create a database of journalists with a view to bring fake journalists to book. “Once the database is created, identifying oneself as a journalist will become tough. As a result, the number of fake journalists will drop,” said Hasan. Hasan was speaking at a views exchange meeting with the Editors Forum at his ministry’s meeting room. Also read: BNP's statements outlandish, insane: Hasan Mahmud During the meeting, Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Advisor of the Forum, said that journalists must work according to the spirit of the liberation war, while Rafiqul Islam Ratan, Convener of the Forum, said that there is no scope to air talk shows or news bulletins on the websites of newspapers or on online news portals according to the Printing Presses and Publications (Declaration and Registration) Act, 1973. Leaders of the Editor’s forum submitted a 10-point memorandum to Hasan at the meeting. The demands include—refraining from providing government advertisements and supplements to and cancelling the registrations of irregular and weak newspapers, paying the outstanding advertisement bills, reorganizing the circulation-determining process of newspapers, not making unprofessional journalists the Editors of newspapers, designating VIP status to the members of the Editors Forum and enabling the Information Ministry to provide declarations to newspapers. The Minister thanked the forum for agreeing with the Association of Television Channel Owners (ATCO) that talk shows and news bulletins can’t be broadcast by newspapers. “Newspapers can publish short videos with their news, not talk shows or news bulletins. The existing law prohibits such practice,” Hasan said. Also read: Online news portals cannot legally broadcast talk shows, bulletins: Hasan Mahmud Member Secretary of the Editor’s Forum Faruk Ahmed Talukder, Advisors of the forum Azizul Islam Bhuiyan, Sharif Shahabuddin and Belayet Hossain, and Members of the forum Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury, Mir Moniruzzaman, Mofizur Rahman Khan Babu, Rimon Mahfuz, Nazmul Alam Toufiq and Jagdish Chandra Sarker attended the meeting.
Just as Mexican journalists prepared to protest the killing of a journalist last week, word came Monday that two more were shot to death in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, raising to 11 the number of such killings in the country this year. The Veracruz State Prosecutor's Office said via Twitter that it was investigating the killings of Yessenia Mollinedo Falconi and Sheila Johana García Olivera, the director and a reporter, respectively, of the online news site El Veraz in Cosoleacaque. Veracruz State Prosecutor Verónica Hernández Giadáns said the investigation would be exhaustive, including considering their journalism work as a possible motive in their killing. The State Commission for Attention To and Protection of Journalists said the two women were attacked outside a convenience store. “We condemn this attack on Veracruz’s journalism profession, give it prompt monitoring and have opened an investigation,” the commission said. Their killings came on the heels of the ninth slaying of journalist this year, in the northern state of Sinaloa. Prosecutors there said Thursday that the body of Luis Enrique Ramírez Ramos was found on a dirt road near a junkyard in the state capital, Culiacan. Also read: Russia-Ukraine war: Russian journalist killed in Kyiv shelling Prosecutors said that his body was wrapped in black plastic and that he died from multiple blows to the head. Ramírez Ramos’ news website, “Fuentes Fidedignas,” or “Reliable Sources,” said that he had been abducted near his house hours earlier. The dizzying pace of killings has made Mexico the deadliest country for journalists to work outside of war zones this year. On Monday evening, Griselda Triana, wife of Javier Valdez, a journalist slain in 2017, spoke to some 200 journalists gathered at Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument. The demonstration had originally been scheduled to protest the killing of Ramírez Ramos and those who preceded him. Valdez, one of Mexico’s best-known journalists killed in recent years, was an award-winning reporter who specialized in covering drug trafficking and organized crime in the northern state of Sinaloa. “In all this time I haven’t stopped thinking about how easy it is for them to kill a journalist in Mexico,” Triana said. “I feel hurt each time they take the life of so many colleagues.” “There’s so much anger, indignation, powerlessness knowing that we come here to protest the murder of Luis Enrique Ramírez, (that happened) a few days ago in Culiacan, Sinaloa, and the news of the killing of two women journalists in Veracruz reaches us here,” Triana said. “It’s a whirlpool. The crimes against freedom of expression keep occurring every day. We shouldn’t tolerate it. We have the authority to ask the authorities to put a stop to this slaughter of journalists.” The victims, like those killed Monday, are most often from small, hyperlocal news outlets. El Veraz operated a Facebook page and appeared to almost exclusively post notices about events or public information from the municipality's government. El Veraz’s motto was “Journalism with Humanity.” The phone number listed for El Veraz rang to what appeared to be Mollinedo Falconi's cell phone, according to its message. Also read: U.S. journalist killed by attack near Kyiv Cosoleacaque is just off a major east-west route in southeastern Veracruz. Organized crime is present in the area and involved especially in migrant smuggling, but there was no immediate indication of who could have been responsible. Veracruz Gov. Cuitláhuac García said a search was underway for those responsible. “We will find the perpetrators of this crime, there will be justice and there will not be impunity like we have said and done in other cases,” García said via Twitter. Journalists had already scheduled a demonstration for Monday in Mexico City to protest killings of their colleagues, most recently that of Ramírez Ramos in Sinaloa. Mexico’s state and federal governments have been criticized for neither preventing the killings nor investigating them sufficiently. While organized crime is often involved in journalist killings, small town officials or politicians with political or criminal motivations are often suspects as well. Journalists running small news outlets in Mexico’s interior are easy targets. Mexico has a protection program for journalists and human rights defenders, but it was not immediately known whether either Mollinedo Falconi or García Olivera were enrolled. Participants receive support, such as electronic devices or “panic buttons” to alert the authorities to any threat; surveillance systems in their homes; even bodyguards in some cases. Often authorities recommend that threatened journalists move to another state or the capital to lessen the threat, but that means separating them from their work, livelihood and families. While President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised a “zero impunity” program to investigate such slayings, journalists’ murders, like most homicides in Mexico, are never resolved by authorities. López Obrador has also kept up his regular verbal attacks on journalists critical of his administration. In February, the Inter American Press Association called on the president to “immediately suspend the aggressions and insults, because such attacks from the top of power encourage violence against the press.” In March, the European Union approved a resolution that “calls on the authorities, and in particular the highest ones, to refrain from issuing any communication which could stigmatize human rights defenders, journalists and media workers, exacerbate the atmosphere against them or distort their lines of investigation.” Late Monday, presidential spokesman Jesús Ramírez said via Twitter that the federal and state governments would work together to investigate the killings. “The commitment is that there is not impunity.”
Journalists paid their last tributes to their fellow colleague and renowned lyricist KG Mustofa at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital on Monday. Over a hundred media workers, former colleagues and friends of KG Mustofa gathered on the JPC premises to show their last respect to him as his mortal remains were brought there around 1:30pm. Apart from journalists, people from different professions also paid homage to the veteran journalist by placing wreaths on his coffin. Also read: Eminent lyricist, journalist KG Mostafa passes away Wreaths were also placed on his coffin, on behalf of different organisations, including JPC, BFUJ, DUJ, PIB and Noakhali Journalist Forum. Earlier, his namaz-e-Janaza was held on the JPC premises. JPC senior vice president Hasan Hafiz, general secretary Ilias Khan, joint secretaries Mainul Alam and Ashraf Ali, treasurer Shahed Chowdhury, senior journalist Ershad Majumder, Mohiuddin Alamgir, Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Zakaria Kajal, Abdul Jalil Bhuiyan, Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, Omar Faruque, M Abdullah, Nurul Amin Rokon, Khairuzzaman Kamal and Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury took part in the janaza. KG Mustofa (84), the legendary lyricist of numerous evergreen songs from the golden era of Bengali cinema, passed away at his home in Azimpur at 8 pm on Sunday at the age of 84. Born on July 1st, 1936, in Begumganj of Noakhali district, KG KG Mustofa is known for writing many popular songs, including “Tomare Legeche Eto Je Bhalo, Chaand Bujhi Ta Jaane” from the movie 'Rajdhanir Buke' (1960) starring Rahman-Shabnam. This iconic track was composed by Pakistani-Bangladeshi playback singer and film music composer Robin Ghosh and sung by famous Indian singer Talat Mahmood. Another of his popular songs is “Aayna Te Oi Mukh Dekhbe Jokhon,” composed by Robin Ghosh and sung by eminent Bangladeshi playback singer Mahmudun Nabi. This song was used in the movie 'Nacher Putul' (1971) starring the popular on-screen duo Razzak and Shabnam. In his esteemed career, KG KG Mustofa worked as a prominent journalist, columnist and poet. He was the editor of ‘Shachitra Bangladesh’ magazine.
Journalists and media workers are facing increasing politicisation of their work and threats to the freedom to simply do their jobs, according to the UN. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many media workers have been on the frontlines, providing accurate, science-based reporting to inform decision-makers and save lives, said the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, marking World Press Freedom Day Tuesday. But the threats to their freedom to go about their reporting and storytelling fairly and accurately are multiplying daily. Also read: In Kashmir, India batters press freedom — and journalists From global health to the climate crisis, corruption, and human rights abuses, they face increased politicisation of their work and attempts to silence them from many sides, Guterres said. Digital technology has democratised access to information, but it has also created serious challenges, he added. The UN chief also said many social media platforms make their money not through increasing access to fact-based reporting, but by boosting engagement, "which often means provoking outrage and spreading lies." Media workers in war zones are threatened not only by bombs and bullets but by the weapons of falsification and disinformation that accompany modern warfare. They may be attacked as the enemy, accused of espionage, detained, or killed, simply for doing their jobs. Guterres said digital technology was also making censorship easier for authoritarian governments and others, seeking to suppress the truth, with many journalists and editors facing the prospect of their work being taken offline daily. Digital technology is also creating new "channels for oppression and abuse," with women journalists "at particular risk" of online harassment and violence. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has found that nearly three-quarters of women respondents had experienced online violence. Hacking and illegal surveillance also prevent journalists from doing their jobs. The methods and tools change, but the goal of discrediting the media and covering up the truth remains the same as ever, said the UN chief, leading to citizens without free media being "manipulated in horrifying ways." Without freedom of the press, there are no real democratic societies. Without freedom of the press, there is no freedom, he added. Ten years ago, the UN established a Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists to protect media workers and end impunity for crimes committed against them and continues to fight to protect their rights.
Egyptian authorities freed three journalists early Sunday, the head of a journalists’ union said, the latest in a string of releases as President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi appears to be reaching out to critics of his administration. Ammer Abdel-Moneim, Hany Greisha and Essam Abdeen walked free from jail after they spent around a year and a half in detention in separate cases. Diaa Rashwan, head of the Journalists’ Union, posted images showing the three journalists wearing white jail uniforms and embracing their families in the street. Also read: Egypt: Ruins of ancient temple for Zeus unearthed in Sinai They were released pending investigations into initial charges of misuse of social media and joining a terrorist group, in an apparent reference to the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization since 2013. The three have yet to face trial. Their release came a few days after authorities freed 41 detainees — including several prominent writers and activists — who had been held for months also without trial. Long pre-trial detentions have been a major concern for rights groups in recent years. El-Sissi also reactivated a presidential pardon committee and appointed new members. The committee, in charge of reviewing cases of prisoners held for political crimes, was created in 2016 and had been mostly ineffective in recent years. Also read: US, Egypt launch group to prepare for COP27 climate summit On Thursday, authorities released prominent political activist Hossam Monis following a pardon by el-Sissi. Monis was serving a four-year sentence on terror charges that rights advocates deemed baseless. Some independent observers believe the government is trying to reach out to critics in the midst of a grinding economic crisis sparked by the Russian war on Ukraine. Thousands of political prisoners, however, are estimated to remain in Egyptian jails. The Egyptian government has in recent years waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of people, mainly Islamists, but also secular activists involved in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. It has also imprisoned dozens of reporters and occasionally expelled some foreign journalists. It remains among the world’s worst jailers of journalists, along with Turkey and China, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a U.S.-based watchdog.
The Mass Media Employees (Services Conditions) Bill 2022 was placed in Parliament aimed at increasing facilities in job for journalists and other employees.Information and Broadcast Minister Hasam Mahmud placed the bill and it was sent to the respective parliamentary standing committee. The committee was asked to submit its report within 60 days.The bill provides for recognising journalists in the media industry as employees instead of workers. Also read: Parliament opens 17th session amid social distancingThe wage board will be applicable for journalists and employees of all the media outlets, including print and electronic, as per the proposed law.According to the bill the working hours for media employees will be 48 hours, while the casual leave will be for 15 days instead of 10 days and the earned leave will be 100 days instead of 60 days annually.Besides, the festival leave will be for 10 days in a year, recreation leave for 15 days instead of one month after every three years, and the maternity leave for six months in place of the existing eight weeks.If anyone or organisation violates the provisions of the bill, s/he will be fined Tk 50,000-Tk 500,000 lakh.On October 15, 2018, the cabinet cleared the draft ‘Mass Media Employees Act (Conditions of Service)’ at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Secretariat. Also read: Speaker nominates panel chair of 17th JS sessionThe government will be able to cancel the licences or registration of the media. The owners of media outlets will also face punishment for violation of the proposed law.If anyone or any organisation violates the provisions of the bill, he/she will face monetary fine or imprisonment, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said.
Three journalists were seriously injured by some miscreants on Saturday while collecting news on upcoming UP elections in Thakurgaon. The injured journalists are Tanvir Hossain Tanu, district correspondent of Independent television, Mainuddin Talukdar Himel, correspondent for RisingBD website, and Sohel Rana, correspondent of NewsBangla24 and Doinik Bhorer Akash. According to witnesses, ahead of the Senua Union Parishad set to be held on February 7, candidate Motiur Rahman was conducting his election campaign in Molankhur Mandalpara. Also read: Pre-poll violence: 1 killed, 12 hurt in Jamalpur At one point some supporters of his rival candidate attacked the campaigners with arms and as the journalists went to take photos, the miscreants beat them up. The journalists said their cameras, mobile phones were broken and moneybags were snatched during the attack. Locals and other journalists rescued the three journalists and admitted them to Thakurgaon General Hospital. Also read: Pre-poll violence leaves 3 injured in Ctg Rakibul Alam Chayan, Resident Medical Officer of the hospital, said the injured received primary medications and further treatments will be provided after examining their physical condition.
A special Customs and Border Protection unit used sensitive government databases intended to track terrorists to investigate as many as 20 U.S.-based journalists, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press reporter, according to a federal watchdog.Yahoo News, which published an extensive report on the investigation, also found that the unit, the Counter Network Division, queried records of congressional staffers and perhaps members of Congress.Jeffrey Rambo, an agent who acknowledged running checks on journalists in 2017, told federal investigators the practice is routine. “When a name comes across your desk you run it through every system you have access too, that’s just status quo, that’s what everyone does,” Rambo was quoted by Yahoo News as saying.The AP obtained a redacted copy of a more than 500-page report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general that included the same statement, but with the speaker's name blacked out. The border protection agency is part of Homeland Security. READ: Fighting Texas abortion law could be tough for federal gov’t The revelations raised alarm in news organizations and prompted a demand for a full explanation. “We are deeply concerned about this apparent abuse of power," Lauren Easton, AP’s director of media relations, said in a statement. “This appears to be an example of journalists being targeted for simply doing their jobs, which is a violation of the First Amendment.”In its own statement, Customs and Border Protection did not specifically address the investigation, but said, “CBP vetting and investigatory operations, including those conducted by the Counter Network Division, are strictly governed by well-established protocols and best practices. CBP does not investigate individuals without a legitimate and legal basis to do so.”An employee at Storymakers Coffee Roasters, a small storefront shop Rambo owns in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, said Saturday that Rambo was not immediately available to comment. He lives in San Diego.The new disclosures are just the latest examples of federal agencies using their power to examine the contacts of journalists and others.Earlier this year Attorney General Merrick Garland formally prohibited prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in leak investigations, with limited exceptions, reversing years of department policy. That action came after an outcry over revelations that the Trump Justice Department had obtained records belonging to journalists, as well as Democratic members of Congress and their aides and a former White House counsel, Don McGahn.During the Obama administration, federal investigators secretly seized phone records for some reporters and editors at the AP. Those seizures involved office and home lines as well as cellphones.Rambo's and the unit's use of the databases was more extensive than previously known. The inspector general referred possible criminal charges for misusing government databases and lying to investigators, but the Justice Department declined to prosecute Rambo and two other Homeland Security employees.Rambo complained to Yahoo News that Customs and Border Protection has not stood by him and that he has been unfairly portrayed in news reports.“What none of these articles identify me as, is a law enforcement officer who was cleared of wrongdoing, who actually had a true purpose to be doing what I was doing,” he said, “and CBP refuses to acknowledge that, refuses to admit that, refuses to make that wrong right.”Rambo had previously been identified as the agent who accessed the travel records of reporter Ali Watkins, then working for Politico, and questioned her about confidential sources. Watkins now writes for The New York Times.Rambo was assigned to the border agency unit, part of the National Targeting Center in Sterling, Virginia, in 2017. He told investigators he initially approached Watkins as part of a broader effort to get reporters to write about forced labor around the world as a national security issue.He also described similar efforts with AP reporter Martha Mendoza, according to an unredacted summary obtained by Yahoo News. Rambo’s unit “was able to vet MENDOZA as a reputable reporter,” the summary said, before trying to establish a relationship with her because of her expertise in writing about forced labor. Mendoza won her second Pulitzer Prize in 2016 as part of a team that reported on slave labor in the fishing industry in Southeast Asia. READ: State mask bans face federal civil rights inquiries Dan White, Rambo’s supervisor in Washington, told investigators that his unit ran Mendoza through multiple databases, and “CBP discovered that one of the phone numbers on Mendoza’s phone was connected with a terrorist,” Yahoo News reported. White's case also was referred for prosecution and declined.In response, AP’s Easton said, “The Associated Press demands an immediate explanation from U.S. Customs and Border Protection as to why journalists including AP investigative reporter Martha Mendoza were run through databases used to track terrorists and identified as potential confidential informant recruits.”It was Rambo's outreach to Watkins that led to the inspector general's investigation. While he ostensibly sought her out to further his work on forced labor, Rambo quickly turned the focus to a leak investigation. Rambo even gave it a name, "Operation Whistle Pig," for the brand of whiskey he drank when he met Watkins at a Washington, D.C., bar in June 2017.The only person charged and convicted stemming from Rambo's efforts is James Wolfe, a former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee who had a personal relationship with Watkins. Wolfe pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters.In the course of conversations with FBI agents, Rambo was questioned extensively about his interest in Watkins. He used the travel records to confront her about her relationship with Wolfe, asserting that Wolfe was her source for stories. Watkins acknowledged the relationship, but insisted Wolfe did not provide information for her stories.Rambo said Watkins was not the only reporter whose records he researched through government databases, though he maintained in his interviews with the FBI that he was looking only at whether Wolfe was providing classified information. Rambo said he “conducted CBP record checks” on "15 to 20 national security reporters," according to a FBI summary of the questioning that was contained in the inspector general's report.New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades-Ha said new details about the investigation of Watkins raised fresh concerns."We are deeply troubled to learn how U.S. Customs and Border Protection ran this investigation into a journalist’s sources. As the attorney general has said clearly, the government needs to stop using leak investigations as an excuse to interfere with journalism. It is time for Customs and Border Protection to make public a full record of what happened in this investigation so this sort of improper conduct is not repeated.”Watkins said she, too, was “deeply troubled at the lengths CBP and DHS personnel apparently went to try and identify journalistic sources and dig into my personal life. It was chilling then, and it remains chilling now.”