Reporters Without Borders and the Bangladesh Centre for the Development of Journalism and Communication (BCDJC) voiced deep concern today about a mounting wave of Islamist terrorism in Bangladesh and its impact on the press. At least 50 journalists and 10 publications have been threatened by terrorist groups in the past four months over supposedly “anti-Islamic” articles yet the government seems unable to restore confidence in the face of this new danger for the media.
“After ignoring the terrorist threat for so long, the authorities now have a responsibility to come up with a response,” the two organisations said. “At stake is the safety of hundreds of threatened journalists who want to freely inform the public about the terrorism affecting their country. If the government fails to restore confidence among the journalists, investigative reports on jihadism will not be undertaken and self censorship will become the rule. We call on the authorities to establish a global plan for the protection of journalists and publications threatened by jihadist groups.
At least 55 journalists have received death threats since September from Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an Islamist group that has also promised to blow up eight newspapers and three press clubs. The latest victim, Amar Desh advisory editor Ataus Samad, received a letter from JMB on 22 December that said his newspaper would be “the next target.”
Read the rest of the article from Reporters Without Borders here.