Bangladeshi reporter fatally shot by ruling party activists

February 22, 2021
Borhan Uddin Muzakkir died of his injuries on 20 February 2021 (photo: collected).
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for an independent investigation into the fatal shooting of a reporter covering clashes between rival factions of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League. Those responsible must be brought to justice, and the ruling party’s leadership must ensure respect for the media’s work, RSF said.

Borhan Uddin Muzakkir, a reporter for the Bangla Samachar daily newspaper and the Bartabazar.com news website, sustained a gunshot injury to the neck while covering fighting between the rival factions on the evening of 19 February in Companiganj, located on the Bay of Bengal, 200 km southeast of Dhaka. He died of his injuries the next day.

“It is completely unacceptable for Borhan Muzakkir to have been the collateral victim of political tension within the Awami League,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “We urge the Companiganj police to make every effort to identify the person or persons responsible for this fatal shooting and bring them to justice. We also call on Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader to ensure that his party’s activists respect the work of journalists during their meetings.”

Ten journalists were physically attacked by Awami League activists while covering municipal elections in the capital, Dhaka, just over a year ago, on 1 February 2020. Two of them, Mostafizur Rahman Suman and Zisad Ikbal, had to be hospitalized with serious injuries.

Bangladesh is ranked 151st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

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