M Mushfiqul Fazal
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has repeatedly and continues to express his concern and very deep concern at the continued harassment of journalists the world over, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, has said.
He made the remark in reply to a question over the ongoing crackdown of the Bangladesh government on dissident journalists at a briefing at the UN headquarters on Thursday.
Mentioning the arrest of Prothom Alo reporter Shamsuzzaman Shams, the case filed against its editor Matiur Rahman and attack on exiled journalist Zulkarnain Saer Khan’s brother Mahinur Khan, UN correspondent M Mushfiqul Fazal asked, “Crackdown on freedom of expression and journalists going on in Bangladesh. Yesterday, Shamsuzzaman Shams, Prothom Alo staff reporter of the Bengali daily picked up from his home. Later the regime filed cases against him under the Digital Security Act. And one of the largest Bengali daily Prothom Alo editor was also sued under the same draconian law. Earlier in March, the brother of journalist Zulkarnain who used to work for the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit, was beaten very badly. So, what is your comment, as a Member State of the UN is going down…”
In reply, Stéphane Dujarric said, “As I said at the beginning of this briefing when James asked me a question. The Secretary-General has repeatedly and continues to express his concern and very deep concern at the continued harassment we are seeing of journalists the world over, being harassed, detained or otherwise making it very difficult for them to do their jobs.”
A free press is a backbone of the world we would like to aspire to all living, he added.