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CPJ: At least 17 journalists injured covering protests in Bangladesh

  • Published at 11:26 am March 30th, 2021
Journalists injured
File photo: Police firing tear gas and rubber bullets into an anti-Modi protest, hitting and injuring journalists covering the demonstrations Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

According to the data shared with CPJ, the majority of the injured journalists were photographers

Police in Bangladesh must ensure that its officers do not harm members of the press while covering protests, says the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).  

 In a statement of Monday, it also urged authorities to investigate attacks on journalists by demonstrators and law enforcers.

On March 25 and 26, members of the Chhatra League, the ruling Awami League’s student affiliate, attacked people demonstrating against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in Dhaka, CPJ said.

They used sticks to beat journalists covering the protests, it said citing news reports.

On March 26, Dhaka police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into an anti-Modi protest, hitting and injuring journalists covering the demonstrations, said the statement.


Also read - Journalists, leftist activists injured in series of clashes at DU


Meanwhile, at least 17 journalists were injured by police or demonstrators, according to data shared with CPJ by the Drik Picture Library, a local advocacy group and multimedia services provider.

“Police in Bangladesh must immediately end their outrageous attacks on journalists covering protests, and should protect them from abuse rather than inflicting it themselves,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “These blatant attacks on press freedom undermine a key pillar of the country’s democracy.”

According to the data shared with CPJ, the majority of the injured journalists were photographers.

Demonstrators and police officers hit journalists with the butt of a pistol, sticks, iron rods, stones, and bricks, and journalists were shot with rubber bullets, according to that data, which stated that they sustained injuries including bruises, swelling, bleeding, broken bones, a dislocated shoulder, and a cracked skull.

CPJ emailed the Chhatra League and the Bangladeshi national police headquarters for comment, but did not receive any replies.

Access to Facebook was also blocked during the demonstrations, according to reports, which stated that the Bangladesh government did not comment on whether it had ordered those restrictions.

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