16 June 2024, Sun

Secretary General calls for press freedom; urges to reopen the media which had been shutdown forcibly and illegally

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Secretary General and former lawmaker Professor Mia Golam Porwar has issued the following statement on 15th June, marking the Black Day for the Newspapers which is set to be observed tomorrow, on 16th June.

On 16 June 1974, the Awami League government led fathers of PM and several other senior ministers and MPS of current government, decided to shut down all print media except two government run newspapers. In addition, government took over the ownership of two leading but privately owned newspapers (Daily Ittefaq and Daily Observer) and kept them running as government mouth pieces. Such decisions have made thousands of journalists and newspaper related staff unemployed and they started to live a cursed life.

Since then 16th June used to be observed by journalists in Bangladesh as black day as thousands of journalists lost their livelihood instantly. Following the same strategies, the incumbent government, after coming to the power in 2009, continued their repression against the media. They have forcefully shutdown several televisions like Daily Amar Desh, Channel One, Diganta Television, Islamic TV and many other online news portals. In last 15 years of the current regime, the media in Bangladesh is passing the toughest time as thousands of journalists once again became unemployed. Government’s ugly face once again imposed through their anti-democratic activities.

To subdue the journalists, the present government enacted a black law titled ‘Digital Security Act’ in October of 2018. As the law is repressive so the authority came under severe pressure from the local and international human rights organizations. Later, the government made some eyewash to deceive the people and again enacted another law namely Cyber Security Act. The people also consider the law as the same repressive as the previous one.

The Cyber Security Act is being used to curb the press freedom. Many journalists and media personalities are also being harassed in connection with this law. The civil societies, intellectuals and journalists have raised voice against the law but the government paid no heed to their objections.

I am urging the concerned authorities to stop suppression on media and to reopen Daily Amar Desh, Channel One, Diganta Television, Islamic TV and all other closed online news portals. Besides, I am calling upon the people of all classes and sections to raise voices against the government’s policies of subduing the press and visual media.