IFJ blasts Bangladesh authorities censorship of Himal Southasian

May. 16, 2007

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has criticised moves from Bangladesh authorities to censor sections of the May edition of Himal Southasian, a monthly political magazine.

According to the Himal Southasian, the latest issue of the magazine was only allowed to be distributed after the removal of an editorial, Khaki Politics in Dhaka, and one article, The Dhaka Regimes Messy Surgery, which dealt with the future of democracy in Bangladesh and the growing power of the military.

Despite vocal assertions from the Bangladesh authorities that no restrictions would be imposed on media freedoms during the state of emergency period, this blatant censorship of the Himal Southasian, raises serious doubts about the motives of the caretaker government, IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

We seek to remind Bangladesh authorities that during this current state of transition it is exceedingly important that the Bangladesh people have unfettered access to information, Warren said.

A democracy cannot be built without the basic foundations of freedom of speech and expression, he said.

The Himal Southasian has announced the cover feature of its upcoming June 2007 issue will address the ongoing political situation in Bangladesh.

The IFJ urges the Bangladesh authorities to refrain from any future interference with the editorial independence of media, and allow the Himal Southasian magazine to be distributed in its entirety throughout Bangladesh, the IFJ president said.

For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries

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