Eminent citizens call it ‘sheer harassment’

Mahfuz Anam
Mahfuz Anam

Nine eminent citizens of the country have expressed deep concern at the large number of defamation and sedition cases filed against The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam.

They voiced their concern in a statement released to the media today, Wednesday, terming this as sheer harassment.

In the statement signed by emeritus professor Anisuzzaman, the government and all concerned were requested to take measures to prevent the on-going harassment proceeding any further.

The statement was also signed by Sultana Kamal, Sarwar Ali, professor MM Akash, professor Serajul Islam Chowdhury, professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Ayesha Khanam, Zia Uddin Tareq Ali, and Abul Hasnat.

The statement read, “We express our grave concern at over 50 sedition and defamation cases and summons being issued against journalist Mahfuz Anam in various districts over the last one week. A good precedence in freedom of expression could have been set if the matter was settled with the Mahfuz’s admission of the mistake in publishing certain reports under special circumstances, in keeping with journalistic ethics.

But the deluge of defamation and sedition cases being filed in various districts is sheer harassment. This amounts to contempt of democratic environment and the right of the people and the media to express their views.”

They expressed their concern that this stand could give opportunity to undemocratic and reactionary forces to carry out their nefarious schemes.

They called upon the government, the media and the people to display more responsibility in tackling such situations.

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