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General Election: Editors’ Council for allowing free movement of media vehicles

  • Published at 12:50 pm December 26th, 2018
A journalist's motorcycle with a Press sticker Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The Election Commission recently announced that press stickers will not be issued for journalists’ motorcycles during the polls

The platform of newspaper editors has urged the Election Commission to allow free movement of media vehicles across the country from Saturday to Monday while covering the 11th general election, scheduled for Sunday.

Editors' Council’s General Secretary Mahfuz Anam sent a letter to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda in this regard on Wednesday.

In the letter, the council urged the commission to take necessary steps to ensure free movement of motorcycles of journalists or media staff, and also the vehicles carrying journalists of media houses to move freely on the said days.

The council also urged the law enforcement agencies to cooperate with the journalists.

As part of a set of poll coverage guidelines made for the mass media, the commission last Saturday had announced that it would not issue press stickers for journalists’ motorcycles during the polls.

However, the commission said it would issue stickers for other vehicles such as sedans and microbuses for journalists to cover the election.

The guideline also banned live streaming in social media sites from the polling booths. It said that not more than one journalist would be allowed inside a polling centre at a time.

It also stated that television channels would not be allowed to live broadcast from inside the polling centres.

The commission also issued a country-wide ban issued on use of motorcycles from 12am midnight of Friday to midnight of next Tuesday.

However, the motorcycle ban received immediate backlash from journalists. They have been urging the Election Commission to lift the ban since then.

The ruling Awami League has also asked the commission to allow the journalists to use motorcycles and ensure their free movement on election day.

The commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed, after a meeting with journalists on Tuesday, said that they would discuss the matter and inform the journalists of their decision.

Last Friday, the Home Ministry also issued a circular imposing ban on unauthorized motorcycles in the street for four days from next Saturday.

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