The information minister has literally warned the 15 editors who had the temerity to issue a statement demanding opening of the two TV stations and one newspaper arbitrarily closed by the government, not to “plead” for the imprisoned editor and said the editors issued the statement without knowing the facts.
It appears that 15 editors of, almost all leading papers of the country, collectively do not know “facts” which only the information minister knows.
So what are the facts?
The fact Mr. Minister is that Amar Desh is closed without being banned. The fact is that Mahmudur Rahman, editor of Amar Desh, has been in jail for the last one month with dozens of charges against him with none having been proved in the court law. The fact is that he has been taken on several days' remand during which, his family has alleged, that he was tortured.
Do you remember Mr. Minister the days when it was customary to assume someone innocent before proven guilty in court?
The fact the honourable minister is that Amar Desh printing press is under lock and key on the excuse that the premise in being investigated. How long does it take to do so? Well it can take a few hours or few years as the government wants, and we know what it wishes.
The fact is that the government is yet to give reasons why the two TV channels are being kept closed?
These are the facts protesting which the 15 editors have given a statement. And the minister's reaction is indicative of growing government intolerance of criticism. Please Mr. Minister tell us where our statement is not based on facts.