A well-functioning democracy requires an informed citizenry, and journalists play that very critical role of conveying information to fulfill citizens’ right to know and help us make informed decisions.
Thus, it is shameful for Bangladesh to be ranked in an international survey as one of the top countries where journalists are frequently murdered, while the perpetrators elude punishment.
The situation also has far-reaching ramifications for our nation’s future, and threatens the very foundations of our democracy.
There are two ideals at stake here, ideals that are at the core of any democratic state, and they are: Security, and justice. It is the duty of the government to ensure both.
Every citizen has a right to security and justice, and the absence, negation, or erosion of either is an assault on democracy.
When it comes to the seven slain journalists, not only were the authorities unable to prevent the murders, now they cannot seem to solve it.
It is a sad fact that the government has failed in its solemn duty to protect journalists, and the only way for the government to redeem itself is to lead a proper investigation, and put the perpetrators behind bars.
For one thing, there should be more transparency to the investigation process because, as it stands now, the police have made a few arrests here and there, but the seven cases remain unsolved.
It must be made clear as to why we have seen little to no progress in the investigations and why the families of the victims are yet to see anything resembling justice.
In honour of the international day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, let us all demand that the murderers be brought to justice.