May 26, 2020

Press Freedom

Bangladesh

OPC Calls for Bangladesh to Free Photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol

The Overseas Press Club of America calls on law enforcement authorities in Bangladesh to free jailed photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol and dismiss the case against him, in addition to investigating the circumstances behind his disappearance.

Kajol, 50, was arrested May 3 after disappearing for 53 days. News media reported that Kajol was arrested while attempting to cross the border from India.

Kajol, the editor of Pakkhakal magazine, and 31 other journalists were charged with criminal defamation under the country’s Digital Security Act on March 9, according to the Dhaka Tribune.

According to journalist colleagues, Kajol shared a story from the daily Manab Zamin on his Facebook page and added the names of other government officials, which triggered the DSA filing.

Human Rights Watch and the United Nations, which led a 2018 coalition of 56 organizations, have repeatedly spoken out against the enforced disappearances in Bangladesh believed to be led by government security forces.