Geneva: New year brings sad news as a young Bangladeshi journalist was killed in the first half of 2023. Ashiqul Islam (27), who worked for Dainik Paryabekhyan from Brahmanbaria locality ( adjacent to India’s north-eastern State of Tripura), was hacked to death on January 9 by a group of miscreants. Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, condemned the killing and demanded a fair probe to book the culprits under the law.
“We have just passed a deadly year for working journalists with 116 casualties across the world. Ukraine has lost 34 media persons followed by Mexico (17), Haiti (8), Pakistan (6), Philippines (5), Colombia, India (4 each), Bangladesh, Israel/Palestine, Honduras, Yemen (3 each), etc in 2022,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch).
Urging Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for a high-level enquiry to investigate the perpetrators’ motive, Lempen also called for an international convention over journo-murders.
PEC’s south Asia representative Nava Thakuria reveals that Ashiqul was returning home from attending an evening function when a group of assailants targeted him. The culprits left Ashiqul seriously injured. Onlookers took him to a nearby hospital, but he soon succumbed to wounds. The Bangla police have arrested at least one individual suspected of involvement with the murder and investigating the motive of the killers.
Last year, Bangladesh lost journalists Hashibur Rahaman Rubel, Mohiuddin Sarker Nayeem and Abdul Bari to assailants. On the other hand, India witnessed the murder of Rohit Kumar Biswal, Sudhir Saini, Juned Khan Pathan and Subhash Kumar Mahato. Pakistan lost Sadaf Naeem, Arshad Sharif, Muhammad Younis, Iftikhar Ahmed, Hasnain Shah, Murtaza Shar and Athar Mateen in different incidents. Similarly, Myanmar lost photojournalist Aye Kyaw and reporter Pu Tui Dim to the relentless military atrocities in 2022.