Lack of protection curbs fearless journalism, speakers say
Dhaka : Speaking at the launch of the training programme Shuroksha (well protected), Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, the Honourable Prime Minister’s Media Adviser said that “ press freedom is a constitutional right and the State has a responsibility to protect citizens including journalists and internet users” . He added that “it is a harsh reality that we lost so many journalists like Humayun Kabir Balu, Manik Saha and Mehrun Runi and Sagar Sarwar who were brutally murdered for carrying out professional duties” and concluded that, “Press freedom cannot be ensured unless democracy and good governance are institutionalized. On the other hand, press freedom in a right direction is the oxygen for democracy and good governance.”
Organised by ARTICLE 19 Bangladesh and South Asia today at BRAC Centre Inn, the programme titled “Suroksha: Minimising Risks for Journalists and Social Media Communicators” brought together over sixty journalists from different parts of the country. The Chief Information Commissioner Professor Golam Rahman highlighted that the “government of Bangladesh enacted the Right to Information Act, 2009 to promote greater transparency and it can be a powerful tool for journalists , in particular on issues of safety and protection if journalists and in tracking the progress of investigations of cases where journalists have been murdered”.
“The Shuroksha programme comprises of four training components including physical, digital, legal and gender specific protection for journalists, media workers and social media communicators”, said Tahmina Rahman, Director for Bangladesh and South Asia. Ms. Rahman also added that “Silencing a journalist means depriving the public of vital information needed to participate in and exercise democracy and freedom of expression”.
The inauguration was attended by Faizul Haque, Director for Research, Press Institute for Bangladesh, Silke Nebenfuehr, international human rights and development consultant from Austria and noted television anchor and journalist Nobonita Chowdhury.