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Journalist leaders postpone countrywide protest at minister’s request

  • Published at 08:45 pm September 22nd, 2021
Leaders of the journalist community protesting at a human chain program at the capital's National Press Club on Sunday, September 19, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Government is trying to solve this problem quickly, Hasan Mahmud says

Journalist leaders have decided to postpone the pre-scheduled demonstrations across the country on Thursday, in continuation of their protest against summoning the bank account details of 11 senior journalists.

The decision came on Wednesday after holding a meeting between Dr Hasan Mahmud, minister for information and broadcasting and several journalist leaders. 

The minister requested them not to hold the protest, added a press release issued on behalf of the 11 journalists, signed by Mosiur Rahman Khan, general secretary of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU). 

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and Hasan Mahmud have spoken to the media in this regard. “In continuation of this, the minister of information and broadcasting sat with the journalist leaders at the Secretariat,” the press release added.

Also Read: Hasan: If transparent, journalist leaders have nothing to worry about

Hasan Mahmud said that he had already spoken at various levels about the importance of the issue. “The government is also trying to solve this problem quickly.” 

He requested the leaders to suspend the protest for the sake of protecting the environment of cooperation in this regard, the handout added.

At the request of the minister, the journalist leaders postponed the protests until the return of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the country, it the release read. 

DRU General Secretary Mosiur Rahman Khan, President Morsalin Nomani, Awami League-backed Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) faction President Molla Jalal, acting secretary general Abdul Majid, National Press Club President Farida Yasmin (pro-Awami League) and General Secretary Ilias Khan (pro-BNP) attended the meeting.

Also Read: DRU: Probe into journos’ bank accounts a threat to media freedom

The rest six leaders, whose bank details are sought, are President of the BNP-backed faction of BFUJ M Abdullah, and Secretary General Nurul Amin Rokon, General Secretary of pro-ruling party DUJ Sajjad Alam Khan Topu, President of the BNP-backed faction of DUJ Abdul Kader Gani Chowdhury and General Secretary Md Shahidul Islam.

On September 12, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), a wing of the central bank, issued letters to all banks seeking account details of 11 prominent journalists who head different forums of journalists.

The BFIU move was heavily criticized by the journalist leaders, groups and various human rights groups.