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50 editors protest interference on Bangladesh’s independent judiciary

In an open letter on August 28 last, several Nobel laureates, politicians, businessmen and civil society members requested Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to halt the ongoing case against Dr Muhammad Yunus which was filed under the labour law of the country.

“We strongly protest such an undesirable interference on the freedom of judiciary of a sovereign nation,” said 50 editors of different national dailies of the country.
In a joint statement on Saturday, they said that Bangladesh’s judiciary is completely independent according to the section 94(4) of the constitution of the country. “We think that they are interfering on the Bangladesh’s independent judicial system unethically, unlawfully and unconstitutionally through sending such an open letter. Such a letter is totally contrary to the rights given to the labourers under the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Bangladesh labour laws.”

The editors observed that such a statement or letter by the internationally renowned Nobel laureates was absolutely undesirable and unethical. The demand that an individual cannot be implicated and tried if he commits a crime is contrary to justice and rule of law. “We think that they made such a demand without knowing about his case fully. So, either they or their representatives can come to Bangladesh to see whether Dr Yunus is harassed in the case. Our honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also invited them and we support her.”

In the same letter, the comments made on Bangladesh’s democracy and election amount to direct interference against an independent and sovereign state. “As the citizens of an independent country achieved through a great liberation war, people of Bangladesh would never accept such humiliating, undesirable and unlawful interference of any quarter in any way.”

“We call upon all concerned to show respect to the Bangladesh’s independence, sovereignty, independent judiciary and workers’ rights,” they said.

The signatories to the statement are:

1. Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Editor, Daily Observer
2. Golam Rahman, Editor, Ajker Patrika
3. Tasmima Hossain, Editor, Ittefaq
4. Abul Kalam Azad, Chief Editor, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha
5. Imdadul Huq Milon, Chief Editor, Kaler Kantha
6. Alamgir Hossain, Editor, Samakal
7. Saiful Alam, Editor, Jugantor
8. Nayeem Nizam, Editor, Bangladesh Pratidin
9. Farid Hossain, Editor, UNB
10. Shyamal Dutta, Editor, Bhorer Kagoj
11. Nayeemul Islam Khan, Emiritus Editor
12. Altamas Kabir, Editor, Sangbad
13. Azizul Islam Bhuiyan, Editor, People’s Time
14. Rezaul Karim Lotus, Editor, Daily Sun
15. Shahjahan Sarder, Editor, Bangladesh Journal
16. Nasima Khan Monty, Editor, Amader Natun Somoy
17. Rafiqul Islam Ratan, Acting Editor, Bangladesh Bulletin
18. Faruque Ahmed Talukder, Editor, Ajkaler Khabar
19. Santosh Sharma, Editor, Kalbela
20. Sharif Shahabuddin, Editor, Bangladesh Post
21. Shamima A Khan, Editor, Janakantha
22. Kamalesh Roy, Acting Editor, Somoyer Alo
23. Mustafiz Shafi, Editor, Protidiner Bangladesh
24. Mostofa Mamun, Acting Editor, Desh Rupantor
25. Belayet Hossain, Editor, Bhorer Daak
26. Chowdhury Zafarullah Sharafat, Acting Editor, Dainik Bangla
27. Shamim Siddiqui, Acting Editor, Alokito Bangladesh
28. Abdul Mazid, Editor, Sangbad Sarabela
29. Rimon Mahfuz, Acting Editor, Sangbad Protidin
30. Mofizur Rahman Khan Babu, Editor, Bangladesher Alo
31. Arifur Rahman Dolon, Editor, Dhaka Times
32. Noor Hakim, Editor, Sakaler Somoy
33. Md Jasim, Editor, Amar Barta
34. Akhlaqul Ambia, Editor, Swadhin Bangla
35. SM Nure Alam Siddiqui, Editor, Ajker Darpan
36. Farid Bangali, Editor, Lakho Kantha
37. Dr Asaduzzaman, Editor, Bangladesh Samachar
38. Kishore Aditya, Editor, Prothom Kotha
39. Dipok Acharya, Editor, The South Asian Times
40. Aby Sayeed, Editor, Ajker Sangbad
41. Atiqur Rahman Chowdhury, Editor, Darpan Protidin
42. Rafiqul Islam, Editor, Alor Barta
43. Md Selim, Editor, Daily Evening News
44. Mostofa Hossain Chowdhury, Editor, Agrasar
45. Nazmul Huq Sarker, Acting Editor, Bartaman
46. Shahadat Hossain Shahin, Editor, Ganamukti
47. Md Saidul Islam, Editor, Protidiner Sangbad
48. Nazmul Alam Towfique, Editor, Daily Citizen Times
49. Hemayet Hossain, Editor, Country Today
50. Sheikh Jamal, Editor, Mukhapatra