Rights group asks B'desh to probe attacks on scribes | india | Hindustan Times
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Rights group asks B'desh to probe attacks on scribes

Recently, over two-dozen BNP supporters allegedly used stones and sticks to attack a group of journalists conducting a peaceful protest.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 11:34 IST

A US-based human rights group has asked the Bangladesh government to "promptly and impartially investigate violent attacks" against journalists last week allegedly by supporters of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

In a statement on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed concern that no arrests had been made in the case even nine days after the attacks.

"The government must show that it will not tolerate attacks on the press from ruling party supporters or anyone else," said HRW Asia deputy director Sophie Richardson. "Failing to investigate and prosecute violent incidents could encourage similar attacks."

On May 29, more than two-dozen BNP supporters allegedly used stones and sticks to attack a group of journalists conducting a peaceful protest in the western town of Kushtia.

Nineteen people were injured in the incident, including Bangladesh Observer's chief editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, who was then the president of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists.

Chowdhury told HRW that supporters of local BNP legislator Shahidul Islam had disrupted the protest.

"They were throwing stones and chairs and I was hit on the forehead," he said claiming that the police did not intervene during the attack.

According to Chowdhury, protest organisers had requested for security from local authorities prior to the event.