The IPI global network calls for an impartial and swift investigation into the killing of journalist Mohiuddin Sarkar Nayeem, who was shot and killed near the Bangladesh-India border by alleged drug traffickers on April 13. Multiple suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing. We urge authorities to carry out a thorough investigation in order to determine the motive for this killing and to ensure all perpetrators are brought to justice.
Nayeen was a reporter for local newspaper Dainik Cumillar Dak in the Cumilla District, located southeast of Dhaka, and had previously reported on drug trafficking in the area.
On April 13, two suspects lured Nayeem to the Bangladesh-India border area. According to local news reports, Nayeem and the suspects knew each other because they lived in the same neighborhood. Bangladesh border guard personnel heard gunshots and found Nayeem lying just a few steps from the border with multiple shot wounds. The assailants had fled by the time the border guard arrived. Nayeem was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“We express our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Mohiuddin Sarkar Nayeem”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “This apparently premeditated murder demonstrates the enormous risks Bangladeshi journalists face. Bangladeshi authorities must thoroughly investigate this abhorrent killing to determine the motive and ensure all who were involved are brought to justice”, he added.
The day after the killing, four men were arrested in connection with the murder. They were identified after Nayeem’s mother, Nazma Akter, filed a report with the police naming the possible perpetrators. Police told a local news outlet that two of the suspects took Nayeem to the border area where the killing took place and two others helped them to escape the crime scene. Up to nine individuals may have been involved in the crime, according to reports.
The main suspect was killed in a gunfight with authorities as they attempted to arrest him on Saturday, April 16.
Between 2006 and 2019, at least 15 journalists were killed in Bangladesh, according to UNESCO observatory of killed journalists. The vast majority of these cases have gone unresolved. Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of impunity for violence against journalists in the world. Only three of the 15 cases have been resolved to date, according to UNESCO data.