Journalists will stage a demonstration across the country on September 23 against the Bangladesh Bank’s directive on seeking information on bank accounts of 11 top journalist leaders.
Mollah Jalal, president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), announced the protest programme at a protest rally on the National Press Club premises in the capital on Sunday.
At the programme presided over by National Press Club President Farida Yasmin, journalist leaders protested against the Bangladesh Bank’s move and said their movement will continue until the issue is resolved satisfactorily.
Farida Yasmin said, “It is a deep conspiracy; it is confronting the state and journalists. Today journalists are forced to stand on the street which is sending a wrong message to the world.”
“The allegations against us will have to be made clear,” she said, adding: “You have not been given the right to tarnish my image.”
Farida Yasmin threw question to the governor of Bangladesh Bank, saying: “This letter has reached you before it was issued. Did not you see it?
She said, “Specific allegations against any person or organization could be investigated. But we think that such a move against the elected top leaders of the professional journalist organisations is intentional.”
Mollah Jalal said, “The process of seeking the bank statements of journalist leaders is unprecedented. We want an explanation from the state. I want to resolve this. Anxiety needs to be resolved in this regard,” he said.
He said, “We think it has been done to create a gap between the media and the government. If there is no satisfactory solution, our movement will continue.”
“Demonstrations will be held across the country, including on the National Press Club premises, at 11am on Thursday, protesting against the move of the Bangladesh Bank,” he added.
Former President of the National Press Club Shawkat Mahmood, Prothom Alo joint editor Shohrab Hassan, National Press Club Secretary General Elias Khan, BFUJ (one of the two factions of the BFUJ) acting Secretary General Abdul Mazid, BFUJ (another faction) President M Abdullah and Secretary general Nurul Amin, DUJ (one faction) President Kader Gani Chowdhury and general secretary Md Shahidul Islam, DUJ former President Abu Jafar Surja, Editor Forum President Rafikul Islam, Press club joint secretary Mainul Alam and Treasurer Shahed Chowdhury, Dhaka Reporters Unity President Mursalin Nomani, Secretary General Moshiur Rahman Khan, DRU former Secretary General Sokkur Ali Shuvo, Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) President Mizan Malik and Secretary general Alauddin Arif also spoke on the occasion.
The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) of Bangladesh Bank sent a letter to all banks on September 12, asking them to provide details of the bank accounts of 11 journalist leaders.