Spl tribunal demanded to try killers of journalists
Arrest of ATN channels chief also demandedStaff Correspondent
All the organisations of journalists on Tuesday called upon the prime minister to form a special tribunal to speed up the trial in all cases filed in connection with killings of journalists, including Sagar-Runi couple.
The Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, Dhaka Union of Journalists, National Press Club and Dhaka Reporters Unity in a memorandum addressed to the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, also demanded arrest of chairman of ATN channels Mahfuzur Rahman and his trial.
The prime minister’s press secretary, Abul Kalam Azad,
received the memo from the protesting journalists in front of the Supreme Court while they were approaching towards the Prime Minister’s Office at Tejgaon in a scheduled parade from the National Press Club.
The journalists also demanded punishment of the perpetrators who tortured journalists in different times and those who attacked media houses.
They also demanded enactment of a law to remove barriers on way to free media.
Their demands also include ensuring journalists’ rights to form trade union, providing remuneration according to the wage board for the media and bringing the electronic media men under the wage board.
They also demanded formation of a national media policy to help flourish both the print and electronic media.
The leaders of different journalists’ unions started the parade from the National Press Club at about 1:00pm and chanted slogan against ATN chairman Mahfuzur Rahman for his recent comments in London in June on the murdered journalist couple and prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
Sagar Sarowar, news editor at private TV channel Maasranga, and his wife Meherun Runi, senior reporter at ATN Bangla, were murdered in their rented flat at Paschim Rajabazar in the capital on February 11.
Since then, the journalists across the country are demanding that the killers be arrested and brought to book.
At a gathering before the parade on Tuesday, the journalist leaders said they would continue their protest until their demands were met.
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, president of a faction of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, blamed Mahfuzur Rahman for making unpleasant remarks about slain journalist Runi when the case under investigation.
The BFUJ faction president furthermore warned that the journalist community would take a united stance against anyone siding with the expelled reporters or Mahfuzur Rahman himself.
National Press Club general secretary Syed Abdal Ahmed, DRU president Sakhawat Hossain Badsha and general secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu, among other, attended the 45-minute parade.
BFUJ’s another faction president Ruhul Amin Gazi said Mahfuzur Rahman tarnished the image of the country by his recent remarks against the prime minister.
Mahfuzur has drawn backlash for calling prime minister Sheikh Hasina ‘talkative’ in a programme during his recent visit to London, online news portal bdnews24.com reported.
The footage run by Ekushey Television on Monday showed Mahfuzur Rahman calling the prime minister ‘talkative’ recalling her comment that ‘it was not possible for the government to guard anyone’s bedroom.’
Ruhul Amin Gazi on the day called upon the government to arrest the ATN Bangla chief immediately for his remarks.
He also called upon the cable operators to stop distribution of both ATN Bangla and ATN News and to stop providing advertisements for the channels.
Cable operators in different parts of the country have started suspending distribution of the ATN channels in protest at the attack on journalists by ATN employees during a human chain in front the National Press Club.
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