It is important to ensure accountability, says TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman
Terming the jailing of Dhaka Tribune journalist Ariful Islam by a mobile court, set up in the dead of night, as unlawful, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has urged the authorities concerned to address the allegations and ensure justice for the journalist.
In a press statement on Saturday, the anti-corruption campaigner said: “Such an act of the mobile court is illegal and an excessive misapplication of the laws of the country. This is entirely unconstitutional and a violation of the rule of law.”
This act entirely goes against the freedom of media in Bangladesh, reads the statement signed by TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.
Ariful Islam, the Kurigram district correspondent at Dhaka Tribune and online news portal Bangla Tribune, was sent to jail soon after the mobile court, set up at the office of the Kurigram deputy commissioner, ended its trial proceedings on Saturday morning.
The mobile court, set up in the dead of night, has jailed the journalist for a year, after law enforcement members led by magistrates picked him up from his house.
The mobile court brought an allegation against the journalist that drugs had been recovered from his possession, which his family termed as absurd.
The TIB noted that such incidents would lead to people losing their trust in the government.
If the allegation of torturing the journalist is found to be true, it is not limited to the misuse of the law, but to whoever was involved in the incident; they committed a direct criminal offense, reads the statement.
“Therefore, we demand that the inquiry committee, formed by the Cabinet Division, will come forth with a neutral and acceptable report, and responsible measures will be taken so that such incidents never happen again,” said Dr Zaman in the statement.