MARCH 4, 2005
Posted: April 1, 2005
The entire 25-member staff of the Kushtia-based daily Andoloner Bazar filed a memorandum with the district deputy commissioner of police seeking protection on March 15. The editor, Manjur Ehsan Chowdhury, signed the memo in which the journalists claimed that they have been harassed and under constant threat from criminals as a result of their reporting on corruption and criminal groups, The Daily Star reported.
The journalists said that criminal groups had filed false criminal charges against the newspaper as another form of harassment, and that the gangs had even attempted to kidnap the editor’s son on March 4. Police arrested several suspects in connection with the kidnapping attempt, but they were soon out on bail and continuing to threaten the staff.
In 2002, the newspaper came under threat from a local drug trafficker after it published a report exposing his illegal activities, according to local press freedom group Bangladesh Center for Development, Journalism and Communication. Armed men forced their way into the printing press when Andoloner Bazar is printed and damaged the printing press, delaying publication of the report.
Kushtia is located in the lawless southwestern region of Bangladesh which is plagued by violence. Journalists are routinely targeted and attacked in reprisal for their work.