Journalist killed

New York, August 25, 2004—Kamal Hossain, the local correspondent for the Bangla-language daily Ajker Kagoj, was abducted and brutally murdered by unknown assailants in the early morning of Sunday, August 22, in Manikcchari, eastern Chittagong District, according to local news reports. The newswire service the United News of Bangladesh (UNB) reported that police discovered Hossain’s decapitated body nearby hours later.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is investigating whether Hossain’s murder was connected to his reporting.

According to Bangladeshi news reports, armed men broke into Hossain’s house in the middle of the night and threatened to kill Hossain’s 2-year-old son unless he surrendered to them. The men took Hossain away at gunpoint and later killed him.

Hossain, 32, was the general secretary of the Manikcchari Press Club and had recently written several articles about criminal activity, according to local journalists. He was also the head of the local youth wing of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, and had recently had a dispute with a neighbor about land, Bangladeshi news outlets reported.

Local journalists told CPJ that Hossain’s murder was related to his investigative reporting about organized crime, and that his wife says that he had received death threats before his murder. Bangladeshi press groups condemned the killing and called for justice.