Bangladesh: two journalists temporarily locked in a room while covering alleged irregularities during the electionsEvent
- Initial Date
- Feb 1, 2020
- Event Description
At least 15 journalists were beaten, threatened, denied access to polling stations, or had equipment broken or taken while covering the mayoral and ward councilor vote, according to reports. Separately, over 30 complaints of election irregularities, including voters being denied entry to polling stations or people standing outside centers with firearms, were reported to the Election Commission on February 1, according to the Daily Star.
The Dhaka police did not immediately respond to CPJ’s email requesting comment on the attacks on the press.
“Journalists provide an essential function in reporting on and documenting whether elections are free and fair, and they must be able to do their jobs safely,” said Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher. “Bangladeshi authorities must immediately investigate and bring to account all the perpetrators of violence against journalists who were covering the Dhaka elections.”
Mahabub Momtaji, a staff reporter at the Bangla newspaper Bangladesh Pratidin, and Nurul Amin, a reporter for the newspaper The Business Standard, had their phones taken and material deleted at a polling station by people whom the Daily Star described as supporters of Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student arm of the Awami League. The newspaper reported that Shahidul Islam Khan Riyad, vice president of the Dhaka South Chhatra League, held the journalists for over an hour and a half at the polling center on February 1. The journalists filed a report with the police and Riyad was suspended for breaching organizational discipline, according to news reports. The reports of the incident did not specify why the journalists were held.
The Bangladesh Chhatra League did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for comment sent via email. CPJ was unable to locate contact information for Riyad.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Restrictions on Movement
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of movement
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 1 February 2020, Mahabub Momtaji and Nurul Amin, journalists, were temporarily locked in a room by supporters of Awami League party while covering alleged irregularities in the city elections in Dhaka, Bangladesh.