Journalist “picked up” in Bangladesh

Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, the military backed interim government isn’t exactly fond of judicial processes or the free press. Bangladeshi journalist and blogger Tasneem Khalil was arrested yesterday. Since the state of emergency curtails rights of the citizens, it doesn’t look like the government needed a reason. Rezwan has an excellent roundup of bloggers’ reactions from Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi blogger and journalist Tasneem Khalil has been arrested by the joint forces tonight. One of his colleagues (also a renowned blogger) broke the news requesting anonymity. They are afraid to speak out. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

Tasneem Khalil (26) is an editorial assistant of the Daily Star , a popular news daily in Bangladesh. He is also the representative of CNN and Human Rights Watch in Bangladesh. His recent articles concentrated on the extra judicial killings in Bangladesh by the joint forces and other human rights issues. After the declaration of the state of emergency in January 11, it is apparent that army is behind the Care taker (interim) Government in Bangladesh. There is an emergency act in place in the country curtailing civil rights which gives power to the authority to arrest any person without conviction. He was called in for questioning by military intelligence last week.

I think to a certain extent in India, it’s so easy for us to be cynical about blogs. Be dismissive. Because there’s a relatively greater degree of freedom of the press. But if you look closely at countries where press freedom is severely curtailed, blogs offer so much freedom to journalists to express and articulate opinions, which wouldn’t otherwise be published by the press. That aside, the interim government also appears to have poor PR skills. In the last three weeks, an ex-prime minister (who has better PR skills) isn’t initially allowed back into the country and now a journalist is arrested. Not to mention, election dates that are nowhere in sight.

Update – He’s no longer in custody. Yay!

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2 Comments

Filed under Global Voices, Governance, Media, Rights, South Asia

2 Responses to Journalist “picked up” in Bangladesh

  1. Pingback: Pickled Politics » Tasneem released!

  2. Keith

    Neha you are exactly right – blogs are the freedom of press in many countries. I think here in the US an also in India it is easy to take for granted our freedoms of speech and the press. I think it takes the loss of such freedoms to really appreciate their value.
    Hurray for the release of Mr. Khalil !! and I bet it was the freedom of the bloggers who helped the government have this change of heart.