Two photographers beaten, detained in Bangladesh

Several police officers in Dhaka, the capital, beat and briefly detained two photographers on December 11, 2012, as they covered clashes between police and supporters of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, according to news reports.

Amran Hossain, who worked for the national Daily Star, and Sourav Laskar, of the daily New Age, were photographing a burning tire on a local highway when police accused them of setting the fire, according to news reports. Despite the journalists showing the officers their press identification cards, the police slapped, punched, and kicked them.

Police took the journalists to a police post in the town of Shimrail, held them separately, and beat them again. The journalists were then taken to a police station in the town of Siddhirganj, where their mobile phones and cameras were confiscated, news reports said. Police smashed Laskar’s camera on the floor, the reports said.

Local journalists staged a sit-in outside the police station in Siddhirganj, demanding the release of Hossain and Laskar. The two journalists were released the same day, and their equipment returned.

News accounts reported that a police officer had been suspended in connection with the episode.