BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that the media outlets in Bangladesh are being controlled by various laws, hampering the freedom of the press.
Fakhrul said this while inaugurating a rally of Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) marking its silver jubilee on Thursday.
Unfortunately, media workers are under pressure now around the world. We’re noticing this pressure in Bangladesh is much greater as many journalists have been killed and persecuted only for political reasons. They’ve been sent to jail on many occasions while media outlets have been shut, he said.
The BNP leader said that media outlets are being controlled to control democracy by making various laws that aren’t conducive to ensuring media freedom.
We’re observing with sadness that the freedom of press, freedom of expression and tolerance towards dissents have gradually been eliminated in Bangladesh, he added.
He said their party believes that the media can play the biggest role in democracy and overall socio-economic development of the country.
The more freedom of press will be stronger and more independent in a country, the more democracy will be stronger there, he said.
He said democracy has long been absent in Bangladesh. “We must ensure the freedom of press ad independence of people here. We believe in a multi-party democracy, parliamentary democracy and freedom of press.”
The BNP leader said it is shameful for the nation that 10 US senators wrote to the Trump administration to impose targeted sanctions on 'senior commanders' of Bangladesh's Rab for killing more than 400 people extrajudicially.