MNA Editorial Desk: A demonstration was held at National Press Club today in protest against defamatory statements at National Parliament and conspiring cases against journalist leader Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and countrywide attack-cases-persecution on journalists. The demonstration was jointly arranged by Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ).
Current and former journalist leaders of BFUJ, DUJ and Press Club gave speech in the demonstration while many journalists from different print, online and electronic media were present to support the cause.
This demonstration was due to the actions of few MPs after a report was published at the Daily Observer identifying them as the drug-lords and godfathers. Narayanganj MP and leader Shamim Osman attacked Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury at the national parliament by his speech and astonishingly he got extension for his speech period from the Speaker. He alleged the renowned journalist of false news and raised questions about his political background. On the other hand, MP of Feni Nijam Hazari and MP of Rajshahi Enamul Haque filed two cases against the Editor of the Daily Observer Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and Crime Reporter Mamunur Rashid. It was an attack on the media’s freedom as well as an attack on Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, who is in the field of journalism for 45 years and currently the Media Adviser to the Prime Minister and Editor of The Daily Observer.
The speakers again and again placed few demands from their sides as they sought the attention of the Prime Minister to stop any further defamation and attack on Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury. They also requested the Speaker of the National Parliament to restrain from allowing improper statements of the MPs as well as to expunge the statements of Shamim Osman, MP about Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury made at the National Parliament.
The journalist leaders have also demanded lifting off of the two false and conspiring cases against Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and Mamunur Rashid, which were filed by two MPs Nijam Hazari and Enamul Haque.
They also protested the actions of police in attacking two journalists of ATN News few days ago and also the casual remarks of the Home Minister over the incident. They mentioned many other incidents where the journalists became victims of brutal attack, conspiracy and violence of the administration and political persons.
President of DUJ Shaban Mahmud, General Secretary of DUJ Sohel Haider Chowdhury, Vice President of DUJ Atikul Islam Chowdhury, Publicity Secretary of DUJ Akter Hossain, President of Dhaka Reporters Unity Sakhawat Hossain Badsha, Vice President of National Press Club Azizul Islam Bhuiyan, BFUJ Secretary General Omar Faruque, BFUJ Joint Secretary General Amya Ghatak Pulack and other prominent journalist leaders spoke during the demonstration.
The journalist leaders have assured of harder protest in the near future if the conspiring cases against Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and Mamunur Rashid are not lifted off as well as if the speech of Shamim Osman at the national Parliament is not expunged.