The IPI global network is shocked and saddened by the killing of Golam Rabbani Nadim, a local correspondent for Bangla News 24 and Ekattor TV in Jamalpur, Bangladesh. He is the second journalist killed in Bangladesh this year. IPI calls on authorities to launch a swift, independent, and thorough investigation into Nadim’s killing and all other violent attacks on media freedom.
Nadim was attacked and beaten by a large group of individuals on the night of June 14, while on his way home from work. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition on the morning of June 15, and succumbed to his injuries later that day. Local authorities have detained several suspects in connection to the case, who have been identified through CCTV footage of the attack. Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion told reporters they would arrest anyone in connection to the killing, “no matter their identity.”
Family members of Nadim alleged that his assailants were supporters of Sadhurpara Union Parishad chairman Mahmudul Alam Babu, whom Nadim had been investigating prior to his murder. Nadim’s wife, Monira Begum, stated that he had been reporting on “irregularities and crimes” allegedly committed by the chairman, and had faced harassment because of those reports.
According to the Jamalpur Press Club, Nadim had recently reported on a press conference held by the chairman’s second wife, who has claimed that Babu physically assaulted her. Nadim’s colleague Al Mujahid Babu, who was with him during the attack, also said that a local court had recently dismissed a case brought by the chairman under the Digital Security Act against journalists investigating him.
Chairman Babu has denied any involvement in the attack.
Nadim, who is also the vice-president of the Jamalpur Online Journalists’ Association, suffered a previous attack on April 11, which was also believed to be in connection to his work. In a statement reacting to the killing, the president of the Bakshiganj Press Club said, “Nadim lost his life for writing news. I condemn the incident and demand quick punishment of the killers.”
Nadim is the second journalist killed this year in Bangladesh. On the evening of January 9, Ashiqul Islam, of the Daily Monitor and Brahmanbaria Patrika, was stabbed to death in an attack similar to Nadim’s. A suspect was arrested, but no motive has been released. An IPI report published last month documented 42 cases of press freedom threats or violations in Bangladesh over the previous six months, many of which involved retaliatory attacks stemming from stories published about government officials.
In response to new waves of attacks on journalists in Bangladesh, IPI published an open letter in May calling on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to “take immediate and concrete action to protect press freedom and ensure that the citizens of Bangladesh can exercise their fundamental right to receive diverse, independent news and information.”
“No journalist should ever have to fear for their life while doing their job,” said IPI Director of Advocacy Amy Brouillette. “Nadim’s killing underscores the increasingly dangerous position of the media operating in Bangladesh. Independent reporting on matters of public interest is a cornerstone of democracy—authorities must move quickly to hold those responsible for these two killings accountable, and make it clear that attempts to silence the media will not go unpunished.”