'242 journos fell victims to repression last year'
The last one year was the worst time for journalists as considerable number of repressions on journalists took place during the period in the country, speakers said this yesterday at a discussion to mark the World Press Freedom Day.
During January to December in 2007, at least 242 journalists fell victims to repression in 126 incidents. Of them, three journalists were killed by criminals, 35 injured and 24 people were arrested by the law enforcement agencies, the Sangbad Staff Reporter Nikhil Bhadra told the discussion.
He said investigative reporting is much needed for flourishing democracy and human rights, but the main obstacle is the absence of people's right to information.
He also said the previous BNP-Jamaat government treated the media as their main opponent. Sixteen journalists were killed during their tenure.
The discussion titled on 'Investigative Reporting, Right to Information and Security of Journalists' was organised by Campaign on Citizen's Rights to Information at the National Press Club in the city.
Senior journalist and researcher Syed Abul Maksud said journalists should be given opportunity to work independently for ensuring free mass media. He also urged the journalists to take oath for working to restore true democracy.
Editor of the Bhorer Kagaj Shyamal Dutta said, “Rights to Information Act is not only for journalists, but also for the people of the country.”
“We are observing the World Press Day at a moment when every path of press freedom is closed,” he said.
Meanwhile, World Press Freedom Day was observed yesterday by Campaign for Good Governance (Supro) in 12 districts with a call for ensuring freedom of media and upholding people's right to information, said a press release.
The Supro observed the day in Rajshahi, Kurigram, Tangail, Chuadanga, Shatkhira, Chittagong, Mymensingh, Netrokona, Bogra, Rajbari, Pabna and Comilla with the participation of local journalists and civil society representatives.
Local journalists demanded decreasing the price of newsprint in the next budget. They said increased price of newsprint have forced many local newspapers to be irregular in their publication.