• Thursday, Feb 09, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

French lawyer serves legal notice on RSF for anti-Bangladesh propaganda

  • Published at 05:40 am July 28th, 2021

The notice seeks an explanation in 15 days as to why legal actions shall not be taken against RSF for publishing false narratives regarding Bangladesh and its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a July 2 article

A French lawyer has served legal notice on Reporters Without Borders, well known as RSF, for their propaganda against Bangladesh and its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 

Paris-based lawyer Madou Kone sent the notice seeking an explanation in 15 days as to why legal actions shall not be taken against them for publishing false narratives regarding Bangladesh and its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in an article titled "Old Tyrants, Two Women and a European: RSF Unveils its 2021 Edition of Predators of Press Freedom" published on July 2, an official release said.

The lawyer served the notice on behalf of four Bangladeshi origin French citizens Abul Kashem, Mazibur Rahman, Monzurul Hasan Chowdhury and Koyes Dilwar Hossain.

"My clients are Bengali nationals who have lived in France for over 30 years, for the least, and over 40 years, for the oldest. They were particularly shocked and hurt to read the contents of the aroused article; article which targets, by name and photographically, the prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, as a person who infringes the freedom of the press, and this, alongside presidents, some of whom are unfavourably known from an international view," the notice said.

"In this article you do not hesitate to specify that the said the prime minister is one of the only two women present on your list of "predators.... Not only did my clients take this statement as an insult to their minister, but also to the memory of her late father. And as a consequence, an attack on the integrity of Bangladesh and its people," it added.

The legal notice said the freedom of the press, in France, framed by the law of July 29, 1881, does not allow to publicly utter statements that undermine the honor and consideration of a person. Violating this principle is akin to the offense of defamation provided for and punished by the Penal Code, it further said.

According to the Article 29 of the said law, "Any allegation or imputation of an act which harms the honor or the consideration of the person or body to which the act is imputed is defamation. The direct publication or by way of reproduction of this allegation or this attribution is punishable, even if it is made in doubtful form or if it targets a person or a body not expressly named, but whose identification is made possible by the terms speeches, cries, threats, written or printed matter, placards or posters incriminated."

The notice also mentioned that the article was seriously contested by the journalist community of Bangladesh as Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) do not share their (RSF) opinion.

It is to be mentioned, Principal Information Officer (PIO) on July 9 sent a rejoinder to RSF, following an order of Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud.

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