Freedom of Press :
In an unprovoked attack on newsmen, police on December 11, 2012 beat up and detained two photojournalists of The Daily Star and the New Age when they were covering the opposition’s strike in Siddhirganj of Narayanganj district of Dhaka division.The assaulted journalists are Amran Hossain, senior staff photographer of The Daily Star, and Sourav Laskar, staff photographer of the New Age.
Witnesses said the two went to Sanarpar in Siddhirganj around 11:30am by a CNG-run three-wheeler and saw a tyre was burning on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway. Disembarking from the vehicle, Amran and Sourav took some photos of the burning tyre. To their utter surprise, some police personnel led by Sub- Inspector Mamun Sirajul Huq reached the scene by a police van and started beating up the journalists alleging that the journalists have set the fire to the tyre.
The law enforcers repeatedly slapped, punched and kicked the duo, even after the newsmen produced their identity cards.At one stage, the cops detained the two and dragged them by their collars into the van. They were taken to Shimrail intersection police box, some half a kilometre off the assault scene.
After reaching there, police took the detainees to separate rooms and again beat up the duo. They also took away the mobile phones of the journalists and smashed Sourav’s camera.
From the police box, the detainees were taken to Siddhirganj Police Station and handed over to its OC, who later freed them. Incensed, a group of journalists staged a sit-in before the Siddhirganj Police Station on the Narayanganj-Adamjee-Demra road.
Meanwhile, leaders of National Press Club and Bangladesh Photo Journalists’ Association (BPJA) in separate statements condemned the attack on the journalists.