BFIU seeking bank details of 11 journalist leaders to ‘fume adversity between mass media, govt’
Journalist leaders of Jatiya Press Club, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), Dhaka Union of Journalists, and Dhaka Reporters Unity have stated that Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit's (BFIU) recent inquiry to obtain bank account details of 11 journalist leaders is "unprecedented, defamatory, ill-motivated," and is an attempt to create confrontation between mass media and the government.
The journalist leaders made that claim at a press conference at Jatiya Press Club today.
They also demanded that the bank account information of the 11 journalists should transparently be revealed in mass media.
Molla Jalal, president of a faction of BFUJ, said, "We would like to state that if they (BFIU) find any information about our involvement in money laundering, illegal transaction or militancy financing, such information should be published transparently in the mass media."
"However, if they don't find information of such activities, that information should be circulated through mass media as well," he added.
Farida Yasmin, president of Jatiya Press Club, commented, "BFIU is mandated to investigate any individual or organisation when there are specific allegations of financial irregularities against them. However, there was not a single such allegation against these leaders. Such a move is unprecedented. We appeal to the journalists to investigate why BFIU took such a step."
She also added, "We believe that our prime minister is very friendly to journalism, and this move is a part of the conspiracy to fume adversity between the mass media and the government."
The conference was chaired by Farida Yasmin.
Mosiur Rahman Khan, secretary of Dhaka Reporters Unity, read out a written statement on behalf of the 11 journalists whose bank account details have been sought by BFIU.
"What is the intention behind circulating the news of seeking bank account details of journalist leaders even before getting the requested information? Such a move has tarnished the image of journalists, our organisation, and journalism. We protest against this move, and we demand a specific and detailed explanation from the government on this matter," the statement read.
On September 12, BFIU of Bangladesh Bank issued letters to the banks, seeking bank details of 11 journalist leaders who head different representative organisations of journalists.