The world’s leading association of writers, PEN International, on Wednesday expressed its deep concern over a series of ongoing lawsuits against the Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam.
PEN International and PEN Bangladesh jointly issued the statement on its website on Wednesday.
The statement said the defamation cases and sedition charges filed against the Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam were disproportionate action.
“The arrest warrant against Mahfuz Anam is a grossly disproportionate action against an editor of enormous integrity. Anam has a long record of respecting the rule of law and impartial journalism in difficult circumstances,” said Salil Tripathi, chair of the writers in prison committee of PEN International.
The PEN International spokesperson also expressed his concern over freedom of media in the country.
Salil Tripathi said, “For some time now the press in Bangladesh has been under siege and the actions of government officials and politicians associated with the ruling party reveal a concerted attack on independent media.”
The statement adds, “Defamation should never be criminalised and the state must ensure that Anam’s rights are protected.” said Salil Tripathi, chair of the writers in prison committee of PEN International.