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BFUJ, DUJ protest jailing of journalist Ariful

  • Published at 03:16 pm March 14th, 2020
Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ)

Ariful Islam was jailed for a year, after law enforcement led by magistrates picked him up from his house in Kurigram early Saturday

In a joint statement, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) condemned the arrest and jailing of journalist Ariful Islam.

The statement, signed by BFUJ joint secretary general Abdul Majid, was issued in this regard on Saturday.

Ariful, Kurigram district correspondent for Dhaka Tribune and online news portal Bangla Tribune was jailed for a year, after law enforcement led by magistrates picked him up from his house in Kurigram early Saturday.

Ariful's wife Mostarima Nitu said a group of people knocked at the door of their home in town.

Later, seven or eight people entered the house by breaking open the door and started beating Ariful.

When he asked why he was being physically abused, they again assaulted him, Nitu said.

"Another 40 to 50 people were then standing outside the house. They were also guarding other houses so that no one could come to our aid," she added.

"Before they entered our house, I called Sadar police station Officer-in-Charge [OC] Mahfuzur Rahman and informed him about the matter," she continued. 

"He [the OC] said no police personnel were sent to the house, and that he was looking into it," Nitu added. 

Among the people who entered the house, there were two or three magistrates including Revenue Deputy Collector Nazim Uddin, she continued. 

Ariful was escorted directly to the DC office where a mobile court sentenced him to one year in jail, around 2am, Nitu added.

About the conviction for possessing drugs, she confirmed Ariful was a non-smoker. "He did not even chew betel."

She said: "We came to know they said they recovered half a bottle of liquor and 125gm of cannabis from the house. They did not search our house or find any drugs from Ariful. How can they convict him on such false allegations?"

Ariful was getting threats for his earlier reports which went against Kurigram Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sultana Pervin, she said.

"The whole incident is the manifestation of vengeance," she added.

Journalist Ariful had done a report about a renovated pond in the Kurigram town that was named after the deputy commissioner.  

He also did another report recently about irregularities regarding appointments in the DC’s office.

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