CPJ, IFJ demand investigation into journo Shimul killing

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Dhaka : Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said Bangladesh authorities should vigorously investigate and bring to justice those responsible for killing Abdul Hakim Shimul, a journalist for the daily Samakal newspaper.

“This shooting took place before many witnesses, and police have reportedly seized the weapon and identified its owner,” said Steven Butler, CPJ Asia programme coordinator.

“There can be no excuse for failing to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice,” Butler was quoted as saying in a message released from Washington.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum (BMSF) also strongly condemned the killing of Abdul Hakim.

The IFJ demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the perpetrators, according to a statement posted on its website.

“The IFJ strongly condemns violence which cost the life of colleague Abdul Hakim Shimul who was only doing his job,” said IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger.

“This is a sad reminder of the sacrifice journalists make across the world, paying the ultimate price to inform their public. We send our condolences to his family for the loss of Shimul and his grandmother. We further urge the authorities the circumstances in which guns were discharged in the public place, with such a devastating consequence.”

Abdul Hakim, who sustained bullet wounds during a clash between two associate bodies of Awami League in Shahjadpur on Thursday, succumbed to his injuries around 1:00pm on Friday while being taken to Dhaka from Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College, Bogra for better treatment.

Since CPJ began keeping records in 1992, at least 20 journalists have been killed in Bangladesh in direct relation to their work.

In addition to Abdul Hakim’s death, CPJ is investigating the deaths of another nine journalists to determine whether they were related to the journalists’ work.

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