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Detention of Rozina Islam a Major Strike Against Media Freedom

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should drop all oppressive charges against the renowned Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. Islam’s colleagues believe she was detained over her reporting on corruption and…
A protester holds a placard reading "Free Rozina Islam " during a demonstration in PLACE on DATE. © 2021 Md Manik/SOPA Images/Sipa USA
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Free Expression Under Serious Threat

(New York) – The Bangladesh government’s increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom is of urgent concern on World Press Freedom Day, nine nongovernmental organizations said in a letter today to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High…
Journalists work in front of a Covid-19 Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 20, 2021. 
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Government Should Support Independent Media Ahead of Electoral Process

On July 7, Abdiaziz Ahmed Gurbiye, the chief editor and deputy director of the independent Goobjoog Media Group, is expected to appear in court in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. But his case should have never gone this far. On April 14, Abdiaziz…
Somali journalists in Mogadishu, Somalia December 29, 2019. 
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Netra News Latest to be Blocked in Free Speech Crackdown

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities are blocking access to online news sites in violation of the right to free speech and access to information, Human Rights Watch said today. The government has also adopted advanced methods to block or conduct…
Bangladeshi photojournalists and journalists form a human chain infront of National Press Club protesting the attacks on them during the students' ongoing protest demanding safe roads, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on August 7, 2018.
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Poet, Lawyer, Activists Jailed in Free Speech Crackdown

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities made a series of new arrests in their crackdown on the right to free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests were based on vague charges such as “hurting religious sentiment” or undermining “law and…
A Bangladeshi reads a news report that makes mention of Facebook along with other social networking service, on his mobile phone in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.
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End Media Censorship, Prosecution of Journalists

In its annual press freedom index, Reporters Sans Frontières has dropped Bangladesh to 150th out of 180 countries – the lowest ranking it has ever received. Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hasan Mahmud disputed the report’s findings,…
201904asia_bangladesh_journalists_media
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Digital Security Act is Overly Broad, Ripe for Abuse

(New York) – The Digital Security Act passed by the Bangladeshi parliament last week, despite vehement opposition from the country’s journalists, strikes a blow to freedom of speech in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The law, which…
Bangladesh's President Abdul Hamid (3rd R) and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (2nd L) walk near female members of the Bangladesh army at the national parade ground in Dhaka on December 16, 2015.
News

Periodic Rights Review Response Ignored Main Concerns

(Geneva) – The Bangladesh delegation to the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on May 14, 2018, failed to respond to pressing human rights concerns in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The law minister,…
Tear gas is seen while police takes their position in the street Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
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Key Provisions that Severely Restrict Speech Remain

When Somalia’s new minister of information took office in March, he promised to review the country’s restrictive media law, raising hopes of fostering a better environment for journalists and free expression in the country. …
Journalists queue for a security sweep outside the venue of the presidential vote at the airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu
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Country’s New Leadership Should Ensure Credible Investigation

On Sunday morning, Abdihamid Mohamed Osman, a technician and editor at Universal TV network, was driving to work in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, when a bomb planted in his car exploded. Abdihamid was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment…
The blood stained camera of a photojournalist is seen after a secondary explosion in front of Dayah hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, January 25, 2017.
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Annual Day Promotes Accountability for Attacks on the Media

For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional…
Somali photojournalist runs for cover while reporting on fighting between the Somali government and African Union forces against the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, April 2012.
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Journalists Live in Fear While Government Promises to Investigate Ring Hollow

Tuesday was yet another bittersweet day for journalists in Somalia. The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) released Abdi Adan Guled, the editor of  Xog-Ogaal, one of the country’s oldest newspapers. Abdi had been detained for three days…
People read newspapers in Somalia.
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Summary The authorities, the public, and the militants are all hostile to us. We are like fish in poisonous waters, we can be attacked or killed at any time. Journalist working in Galkayo, February 2015 …
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Both the Somali government and the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab are using abusive tactics to sway media coverage. The Somali federal government and regional authorities have used various abusive tactics to affect media coverage, including arrests and…
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Repeal Abusive Criminal Defamation and Sedition Laws

(New York) – Bangladeshi authorities should immediately withdraw all criminal charges filed against the editors of the Daily Star and Prothom Alo, the country’s leading newspapers, Human Rights Watch said today. Bangladesh should repeal its criminal…
A man buys a local newspaper in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 20, 2011.
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Free speech in Bangladesh is under attack as never before, held hostage between angry, machete-wielding radicals on one hand and a government, quick to take offence, on the other. Four bloggers have been murdered this year by religious…
Niladri Chakrabarti
News

Protect Bloggers, Prosecute Those Targeting Free Speech

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should unequivocally declare their commitment to free speech instead of proposing self-censorship, Human Rights Watch said today. The killing of secular blogger Niladri Chakrabarti on August 7…
Niladri Chakrabarti
News

War Crimes Court Uses Broad Contempt Powers to Quell Criticism

(New York) – The December 2 conviction of journalist David Bergman on contempt charges by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) further shrinks the narrowing space for observers to comment on the war crimes proceedings, Amnesty International,…
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HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 10

The human rights situation in Somalia, particularly in the south-central part of the country, remains dire. The Islamist armed group al-Shabaab continues to commit serious abuses including targeted killings, executions and punishments amounting to torture…
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HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 6

Human Rights Watch welcomes the adoption of some important recommendations in the UPR of Bangladesh, but regrets that key recommendations made by member states were not adopted. Positive developments include the government’s pledge to criminalize all acts…