Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) has said the case filed against Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman and the picking up of journalist Samsuzzaman Shams is harassment and such acts encourage infringement on press freedom. Such acts curtail freedom of press and create an environment of fear.
ASK made this observation in a statement on Thursday.
The statement said many top government officials including law minister pledged to take extra cautionary measures before taking up cases under Digital Security Act against journalists. But such practice was not followed in this case. Rather many top government persons made comments against Prothom Alo and its published news that have encouraged some over enthusiastic persons to file cases.
ASK said it is clear that such cases were intended to harass. The impact of such deeds is far reaching. This incident will further shrink press freedom and instill a culture of fear and insecurity among the journalists. As a result, Bangladesh’s stance as a civilized and law and human rights abiding country would be under question.
ASK demanded the case against Prothom Alo editor and the journalists be dropped and incarcerated journalist Samsuzzaman be freed unconditionally. They also demanded the authorities to abolish the Digital Security Act.