Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said that Bangladesh is observing the press freedom day while several media establishments are facing arbitrary closure for years. “Journalists of print and electronic media as well as owner of a private television channel continue to languish in jail. Physical threat, trumped up criminal charges, intimidation and arbitrary detention for criticising the incumbent government or publishing opinion which may favour the opposition, is a common phenomenon," it said. The AHRC said: Successive governments in Bangladesh have spared no resources to stifle the media with a view to gag dissenting voices. In a joint statement with Odhikar, the AHRC also said: the incumbent government has set new records in suppressing the freedom of the press, including the freedom of expression and opinion, in last eight years. Quoting Odhikar, the AHRC said: from May 2016 to April 2017 one journalist was killed, 38 journalists were injured, eight assaulted, 12 threatened and one was attacked while they were performing their professional duties. During this time, 18 journalists were sued and one was arrested. “Today the government controls almost every media house in the country directly or indirectly,” it alleged that the government denied along with denial to all other allegations.
World Press Freedom Day