Mohammed Emran Hossan, a correspondent for the news website Newsnow24 and Dainik Amader Shomoy newspaper, was killed in a collision with a vehicle at around 1 a.m. on December 30, in the Rangunia sub-district of southeast Chittagong district, according to news reports and Rustam Ali Sikder, the journalist’s father, who spoke with CPJ.
A jeep hit Hossan’s motorcycle and ran over his body, according to a complaint, reviewed by CPJ, that was filed by the family at Rangunia Model Police Station on the day that Hossan died.
No arrests had been made although the police were given the driver’s name, those sources said. A journalist familiar with the case, who spoke to CPJ on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal, said the driver went into hiding shortly after the crash.
Chandan Kumar Chakraborty, officer-in-charge of Rangunia Model Police Station, told CPJ that officers were searching for the driver, whose vehicle was brought into police custody in early February, and the police were investigating what authorities considered to be a road accident.
The circumstances surrounding Hossan’s death were unclear, the anonymous journalist said, adding that that a witness told him that they saw Hossan’s motorcycle standing upright on the road after the crash.
Sikder and the anonymous journalist told CPJ that they suspected Hossan was targeted due to his journalistic work. Sikder said that his son tipped off a civil service official about illegal construction on government-owned land three months before his death and authorities demolished the structure on September 20.
On September 21, Hossan reported in Newsnow24 that two brothers, whom he named, were rebuilding the structure the day after the demolition. In the article, Hossan said one of the men phoned him after he visited the site and said, “I will make you a corpse. And I will see how great a journalist you are.”
On September 23, Hossan filed a complaint about the threat, reviewed by CPJ, at Rangunia Model Police Station. Chakraborty said that the police were investigating the complaint.