BNP on Wednesday denounced the detention of daily Prothom Alo reporter Samsuzzaman Shams by law enforcers, saying it is a dreadful incident.
Speaking at a press conference, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also warned that the government will only face losses without making political gains by arresting any journalist.
“A journalist of the daily Prothom Alo was taken away from his home by CID early Wednesday. This is an awful incident,” he said.
The BNP leader said Somoy Television aired a feature on Tuesday night that Prothom Alo reporter Samsuzzaman Shams made a fabricated report on March 26 to embarrass the government.
“But I don’t understand what crime the journalist has committed… I strongly condemn the detention of Shasuzzaman Shams and demand his immediate and unconditional release,” Fakhrul said.
The press conference was held at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office to brief media about the decisions of the party standing committee’s virtual meeting held on Tuesday.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in plainclothes picked Shamsuzzama up from his residence in Ambagan area adjacent to Jahangirnagar University around 4:30 am.
Later a Jubo League leader filed a case under the Digital Security Act against Samsuzzaman accusing him of publishing a false and fabricated report in the daily Prothom Alo.
Fakhrul said the government has created divisions among journalists in various ways to gag the media and stop the voice of the media workers.
Fakhrul alleged that the government is trying to create a climate of fear across the country ahead of the election by resorting to extrajudicial killings and picking up people by RAB, DB, and other law enforcement forces.
He also said RAB also sent out a message that they have become activated again by killing Sultana Jasmine, an employee of a Naogaon union land office. “This is an incident of serious human rights violation.”
Fakhrul said it has been proved beyond doubt that Sultana Jasmine died in RAB custody and international rights bodies have demanded an immediate impartial inquiry into the matter.
He said their party standing committee meeting demands that the true information be presented to the public through an impartial investigation immediately.
The BNP leader said they also demanded those responsible for Sultana Jasmine’s murder be brought to book.
“Our sanding committee meeting felt that the detention of a woman without any specific case and her subsequent death has once again proved that the law enforcers under this government have been violating human rights indiscriminately,” he observed.