82% journalists believe Rozina Islam’s arrest will hinder scopes for investigative journalism
A recent survey has found that journalists in Bangladesh think bureaucrats have turned more reckless than before in hiding public information and showing off their authority.
The survey was conducted by Drik News asking three questions to evaluate the status of freedom of the press and the rights of the journalists in the country.
A total of 94 journalists from 55 organizations participated in the survey – conducted both online and in-person, according to a press release issued on Wednesday.
Of the respondents, 83.97% were from Dhaka. At least 68% of them have 10 years of working experience in the field.
According to the survey, 92.6% of the journalists interviewed by Drik News responded positively on the question regarding the bureaucrats.
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Charges of “stealing” official documents and “taking photographs” of documents were brought against Rozina Islam, an award-winning investigative journalist, who was kept confined allegedly by some Health Ministry officials for five long hours inside an official's room at the Bangladesh Secretariat on May 17. She got bail on May 23.
Several lawmakers have recently lambasted the bureaucrats in parliament for corruption by exerting their influence and power as government officials.
According to the survey, 81.91% of the journalists believe that the arrest of Rozina Islam is going to hinder the scopes for investigative journalism in the country.
Moreover, 89.4% of the respondents have said that the efforts taken by the owners of the news media are not enough to ensure freedom of the press and rights of the journalists.
In the statement, Drik News condemned the current state of journalism in the country due to the difficulties created by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the threat of getting sued under the Digital Security Act (DSA). The arrest of Rozina proves that corrupt bureaucrats are exerting their power to suppress journalists.