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In Bangladesh, no motive, arrests in double murder

A relative mourns the killing of two journalists in Dhaka. (AP/Sazid Hossain)

New York, February 13, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists mourns the death of two TV journalists in Dhaka and calls on Bangladeshi authorities to act speedily to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The bodies of Golam Mustofa Sarowar and his wife, Meherun Runi, were found by their 5-year-old son on Saturday morning, news reports said. Both journalists had been hit repeatedly with sharp weapons, according to news reports. Sarowar, a news editor at the Dhaka-based Maasranga Television, had recently returned to Bangladesh from Germany, where he had worked for Deutsche Welle. Runi was a senior reporter at ATN Bangla Television, also in Dhaka.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed shock at the murders, and ordered Home Minister Shahara Khatun to press police to arrest the killers within 48 hours, according to news reports. However, as of Monday, police had made no arrests and said they were unable to determine a motive in the double murder, news reports said.

"We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Golam Mustofa Sarowar and Meherun Runi," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator. "The police must act quickly and decisively in apprehending those responsible and determining the motive."

Local journalists demonstrated at the National Press Club on Saturday afternoon and again on Monday, protesting the deaths of the two journalists.

Bangladesh is among the worst nations in the world in combating deadly anti-press violence. Bangladesh ranks 11th on CPJ's Impunity Index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country's population. Twelve journalists have been murdered in reprisal for their work in Bangladesh since 1992.

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