Bangladesh: Journalist killed in violent attack, IFJ demands immediate probe

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Friday condemned the “heinous killing” of a journalist in Bangladesh in a violent attack and urged the authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation.

Golam Rabbani Nadim, a Bakshiganj correspondent, died from his injuries on June 15 after being attacked by a group of assailants while returning home from work on June 14 in Jamalpur.

On his return home from work on June 14 at 10 pm, a group of approximately 12 people attacked Nadim in the Bakshiganj upazila, or sub-district, in Jamalpur city in the northwest of Bangladesh. The assailants beat the journalist until he was unconscious before fleeing the scene. He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition on the morning of June 15 but died from his injuries later that afternoon. The motive of the attack is yet to be confirmed.

Nadim was the Bakshiganj correspondent for Ekattor TV and Daily Manabjamin, as well as the Jamalpur correspondent for His son, Abdullah Al Mamun, believes the attack may be in relation to the journalists reporting and Facebook posts regarding the Shadhurpara Union Parishad chairman Mahmudul Alam Babu.

Jamalpur Press Club secretary, Lutfur Rahman said Nadim reported on a press conference held by Babu’s second wife, Sabina Yasmin, who claimed the chairman had physically assaulted her. Rahman said Nadim’s coverage may have angered Babu, which could have led to his attack.

Police at the Bakshiganj police station said they have arrested three of the assailants and an operation to detain the others believed to be involved in the attack is underway.

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Following his death, Nadim’s colleagues, peers and other workers from news organisations in Jamalpur gathered at the Shaheed Minar monument in Bakshiganj in a rally against the incident. The Bakshiganj Press Club president and others who spoke at the rally said Nadim’s attackers are “known” to police, and authorities should thoroughly investigate the scene to bring them to justice.

Nadim is the fourth journalist in South Asia to be killed in 2023, and the second in Bangladesh. In a chillingly similar incident on January 9, Ashiqul Islam, district correspondent of the Daily Monitor and a reporter for local daily Brahmanbaria Patrika was hacked to death in a knife attack while returning home in Brahmanbaria, Chattogram. All assailants fled the scene immediately after leaving Islam seriously injured, with locals taking the journalist to Sadar Hospital where he was declared dead.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The killing of journalist Golam Rabbani Nadim is unacceptable and representative of the significant risk media workers face in Bangladesh. Journalists must be allowed to carry out their work without fear of violence, intimidation, or death, and it is up to the state to guarantee their safety. Failure to do so undermines the fundamental right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. The IFJ condemns in the strongest of terms the heinous killing of Golam Rabbani Nadim and demands a thorough investigation into the incident immediately.”

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