Golam Rabbani Nadeem, a Bangladeshi journalist, was brutally beaten to death by a group of assailants allegedly employed by the local village chief in a shocking incident of violence against journalists. Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international media advocacy organization, has urged Bangladeshi prosecutors to take urgent action in identifying and prosecuting the perpetrators.
Golam Rabbani Nadeem, a correspondent for the Banglanews24.com website and the Ekattor Television news channel in the Jamalpur district, was ambushed in Bakshiganj on the night of June 14 while returning home on his motorbike. Al Mujahid Babu, a journalist colleague, witnessed the horrifying assault but could not intervene. Nadeem was dragged into a dark alley by approximately ten armed men armed with machetes and steel bars, severely beaten, and incapacitated.
Nadeem was transported to a hospital in Mymensingh, where he died on June 15 from his injuries. RSF has condemned this heinous act and is urging the Bangladeshi prosecutor’s office to spare no effort in identifying all those involved in the crime, especially the alleged instigator, Mahmud Alam Babu, the chairman of the Sadhupara Union Parishad and the local branch leader of the ruling Awami League.
Al Mujahid Babu, who was also attacked during the ambush, disclosed that Nadeem’s murder directly resulted from their coverage of the secret marriage controversy involving Chairman Mahmud Alam Babu. After one of his wives conducted a press conference, they reported on the chairman’s refusal to recognize his second marriage. It is believed that the chairman attempted to silence the reporters by submitting a digital security law complaint against them. However, a Mymensingh court disregarded the complaint, leading to Babu’s anger and subsequent participation in the brutal attack.
Several of the attackers have been identified through the use of surveillance camera footage, according to law enforcement officials in Jamalpur. At least three arrests have been made to date.
There has been an alarming increase in violence against journalists in Bangladesh, frequently orchestrated by local officials affiliated with the Awami League. Prior to February, RSF had expressed alarm, reporting at least seven attacks on journalists in less than two months. In light of this disturbing trend, RSF has also implored the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to prioritize the development of legislation to protect news providers.
The heinous murder of Golam Rabbani Nadeem is a stark reminder of the dangers Bangladeshi journalists confront. Together with RSF, the international community demands justice for Nadeem and more robust measures to safeguard press freedom in the country.
Reporters Without Borders-RSF