3 newspapers abusing press freedom | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 28, 2013

3 newspapers abusing press freedom

Says information minister

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Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu yesterday accused national daily Amar Desh, Naya Diganta and Sangram of spreading propaganda against the youths' ongoing movement at Shahbagh.
"Ideologically, these newspapers are against the Liberation War and many of the owners and journalists of these dailies were instigators of genocide committed during the Liberation War in 1971," he said at a press briefing at the ministry.
These newspapers have been confusing people with false and fabricated information and instigating religious sentiment of the Muslims, said Inu.
Taking advantage of press freedom, Amar Desh and other newspapers have been printing and reprinting news items like leaflets on some alleged blog write-ups of slain Ahmed Rajib Haidar, which is inconsistent with the policy and law of journalism, the minister said.
Doubts have been raised whether the blog write-ups were of Rajib Haider. According to the international surveillance groups that research on blogs, the write-ups were published after his death, Inu said. Somebody did it, using Rajib's name.
Indecent remarks against Islam and Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) were posted on a blog named Nurani Chapa Samagra first from Pakistan. Besides, the blog archive of Rajib has no atheistic pieces of writings published during his lifetime, the information minister said.
"Whatever was published in the blog -- be it true or false, before or after his death -- no newspaper can publish such humiliating and offensive remarks. It's immoral."
Explaining further, Inu said blogs, Twitter and Facebook are informal media. Newspapers cannot publish any derogatory remarks posted on the social networks on any religion -- it is a crime.
The Bangla dailies are humiliating Islam and Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) by publishing those news items.
Asked about what action the government would take against Amar Desh, he said they were scrutinising the legal issues involved in this connection and thinking of taking action against the paper.
Legal action can also be taken against the editor but that requires gathering specific allegations against him.
Continuous publications of derogatory remarks on Islam and the Prophet, Rajib's killing, armed attacks by a certain group, vandalism of Shaheed Minars and desecrating of the national flag -- all these have a connection and it seems an effort is on to trigger riot in the society, Inu noted.
Referring to BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's comment on the Shahbagh movement on Tuesday, Inu said when the entire nation has become united against war criminals, the opposition is urging youths to speak of love.
"Did he [Fakhrul] mean to love [war crimes accused] Ghulam Azam and Quader Mollah." Inu asked the opposition to clear its stance on the matter.
A play is on to foil the war crimes trial and destabilise Bangladesh, Inu said, adding BNP is the producer, Jamaat-e-Islami is the director and armed Jamaat cadres are the actors of this play.
Asked why action would not be taken against daily Inqilab that published such news items first, he said Inqilab had published them once but then refrained from publishing those further.

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