Press council warns editor of Al-Ehsan
The Bangladesh Press Council has warned, criticised, and rebuked the editor of Bangla daily Al-Ehsan for violating codes of conduct and publishing fabricated reports to incite communal tension in the country.
In a verdict, the council also advised him to be more cautious in publishing reports, follow general codes of conduct of journalism, and warned him about misusing a noble profession like journalism for any ill intentions.
The daily has published two derogatory reports arguing that the government cannot declare any public holiday on “Janmashtami and Durga puja”, on October 5 and 7 last year, allegedly for only 1.5 percent Hindu population of the country.
The reports came to the attention of Chairman of Bangladesh Press Council Justice Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed.
Later, he issued a suo moto rule on the daily and mentioned that the daily had violated article-1, -10 and -19 of the code of conducts set by the council for journalists.
The chairman also asked the editor to submit, by two weeks, his explanation to the council as to why actions will not be taken against him and his newspaper's declaration be not cancelled.
The council held a hearing on the issue on February 10 and delivered the verdict on March 10.
In the verdict, the judicial committee, led by the council chairman, observed that journalism and press freedom could not be used for hurting any community, group or religious belief.
In this regard, the daily Al-Ehsan had failed to show respect to a special community in the name of press freedom, it added.
However, the committee further observed that the council chairman's suo moto action against the daily will work as a milestone in establishing guidelines for reporting and journalism.
It was also revealed through the verdict that the editor had regretted publishing such unsubstantiated reports and assured the committee of following the codes of conduct of journalism in future.