New York, May 29, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Monday night’s attack on the offices of an Internet news outlet in Dhaka in which at least nine journalists were wounded.
A group of at least 15 unidentified men, all carrying sharp objects including machetes, broke into the newsroom of bdnews24.com, a local media outlet that presents news in both Bangla and English, news reports said. The men attacked and stabbed journalists and other staff members, and vandalized the staff’s vehicles in the parking lot, the website reported.
Abdur Rahim Harmacchi, a senior reporter at the news site who was slightly injured in the attack, told Agence France-Presse that after the men entered the office, “they started hacking some of our colleagues on the office’s ground floor.”
Lutful Kabir, the deputy commissioner of Dhaka police, told AFP that nine journalists and an office administrator were wounded in the attack. Three of them underwent surgery for their critical injuries on Tuesday and are now recovering, bdnews24.com reported.
On Tuesday, Dhaka police arrested three people in connection with the attack, bdnews24.com reported. Prodeep Chowdhury, the chief reporter for the news outlet, told AFP that the staff did not know the reason for the attack.
“We are outraged that men with machetes stormed the offices of a newsroom and attacked the journalists present,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “We call on authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the attack and determine the masterminds of this crime.”
Bangladesh is among the worst nations in the world in combating deadly anti-press violence, CPJ research shows. At least 12 journalists have died in the country since 1992, according to CPJ research.