New York, April 20 (CPJ/OurVoice) – Bangladesh authorities must conduct a swift and impartial investigation into the killing of journalist Mohiuddin Sarker Nayeem and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.
On April 13, alleged narcotics dealers shot and killed Nayeem, a reporter for the privately owned local newspaper Dainik Cumillar Dak, in Comilla district, about 60 miles southeast of the capital city of Dhaka, according to news reports.
Nayeem had covered narcotics trafficking prior to his killing, according to those reports, which said that police had arrested four suspects.
“The killing of Bangladeshi journalist Mohiuddin Sarker Nayeem is a tragedy that must be thoroughly investigated, and its perpetrators brought to justice,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, in Washington, D.C. “Authorities must prosecute those responsible and work to end Bangladesh’s terrible record of allowing those who murder journalists to remain free.”
On April 14, Nayeem’s mother told officers at the local Burichang police station that she believed an alleged narcotics dealer named Razu, who uses one name, was the main culprit in her son’s killing, and also named six others, according to news reports.
On Saturday, April 16, Razu was killed in a gunfight with the police Rapid Action Battalion, according to those reports.
Reports said that Nayeem had also informed law enforcement officials about drug trafficking.
Md. Anwar Hossain, deputy inspector-general of the Chittagong department of the Bangladesh police, which oversees Comilla district, did not respond to CPJ’s request for comment sent via messaging app.
In 2021, Bangladesh ranked 11th on CPJ’s global impunity index, which tracks countries where the murderers of journalists escape justice.