PRESS RELEASE:Human Chain held to mark International Day to End Impunity
[Dhaka, 23 Novemebr 2013] Rights group VOICE, Media Watch and International Press Institute (IPI) jointly organized a human chain in front of National Press Club in Dhaka today to mark the International Day to End Impunity. Speakers called to end Impunity and demanded to stop violence against journalists, bloggers, writers while urged to attain justice within the judicial system. In observance of International Day to End Impunity, journalists, human rights defenders and members of the civil society attended the human chain.
Among others President of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and also president of IPI Bangladesh Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, President of Dhaka Union Journalists ( DUJ) Omar Faruk, Genral Secretary of DUJ Jahangir Alam Pradhan, President of BFUJ (other) Ruhul Amin Gazi, Treasurer of BFUJ Khairuzzaman Kamal, executive members of BFUJ Rafiqul Islam Sabuj and Rahman Mustafiz spoke in the human chain programme while it was moderated by executive director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud.
Speakers urged to the government to bring justice for the journalists who were killed during professional duties. They also urged exemplary punishment of the killers including the killers of Sagar-Runi. A total number of 700 journalists were killed in last decade while 93 journalists and bloggers were killed alone till November in 2013 globally including Bangladesh, they mentioned.
Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul said that Impunity which is pervasive in many forms is a global problem. It works to silences critical voices and to create a fearful atmosphere so that journalists and bloggers stop reporting on crimes, governance, restrain from documenting abuses of power, corruption of the governments and individuals. He demanded to end impunity and create a congenial atmosphere respecting principles of human rights.
Ruhul Amin Gazi said that journalists become the enemy of the government and the powerful people to report on their abuse of power, crimes and corruption. But acts of violence against journalists are alarmingly increasing in Bangladesh while it is sharp violation of human rights and freedom of expression. Murders of journalists must go for punishment, he demanded.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE who moderated the programme told that the chilling effect of impunity lead a society to self censorship, hamper the free speech, ignore human rights principles and undermine democratic practices and also silence the voices putting fear in career and families at risk. He also mentioned that in the movement of free expression, democracy and human rights, citizens, artists, writers, bloggers, scientists, and journalists have been harassed, threatened, tortured, intimidated, jailed and killed while over 700 journalists have been killed in the last decade, he mentioned. He also cited that over 80 organisations based in more than 60 countries observed the day and led a united voice to raise the demand ending impunity.
Speakers also demanded greater scrutiny, prosecution, punishment, and effective measure to to end impunity. They said that it’s time to take a more decisive role in combating impunity and focus on all dimensions of the problems, including the erosion of the rule of law and the violation of general principles of justice.