Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that Mashiyul Haque, the correspondent of the daily Dainik Samakal and president of the Kalia Press Club, and his wife, Reena Parvin, were badly injured in a bomb attack on their home at around 3 a.m. on 11 July in the southwestern locality of Kalabaria.
They were taken to a hospital in the capital, Dhaka, where they were reported to be in a critical condition. Their two children, aged 4 and 6, who were also in the house at the time, were not injured.
“We would like to express our support for Haque and his wife,” Reporters Without Borders said. “In view of the repeated violence against journalists in recent weeks, the authorities must give serious consideration to the possibility that this terrible attack was linked to his work as a journalist.
“An act of violence of this level must not go unpunished. We urge the authorities to guarantee the safety of the Haque family and to conduct a thorough investigation with the aim of identifying and jailing those responsible for this attack.”
Haque, who has written articles about the impunity that criminals enjoy and the protection they get from politicians and members of the local government, said he saw two or three people running away after an explosive device was thrown through his bedroom window. He said they also fired shots.
Sarowar Hossain, the police chief in the nearby town of Naraghati, said an investigation was under way. No arrests have so far been made.
Ranked 126th out of 178 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, Bangladesh has seen a recent surge in violence against media personnel. The attack on Haque brings to 10 the number of journalists who have targeted in the past six weeks. Some of the attacks have been linked to a wave of political violence that began last month.
Five journalists were injured in violence by political activists on 5 June in the town of Comilla, 100 km southeast of Dhaka, and two of them had to be hospitalized. The violence took place during protests by the leading opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, against recent constitutional amendments by the government.
Two days before that, four journalists were attacked and injured by the employees of a company that is restoring a cultural site in the western district of Kushtia.