November 06, 2007

"A Database of Journalists" in Northern Bangladesh

Update: The Daily Star carried a small news item on this the very next day. Watch this space for updates.

Via Voice of Bangladeshi Bloggers:

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Apparently a "government intelligence agency" (oh my!) has distributed forms to journalists in the area, asking for some specific pieces of information. And what could these oh-no-doubt-essential-to-National-Security-and-Sovereignty pieces of information be? The interviewee says (and I translate directly) that the forms ask for information concerning their "personal life, family life, political life (???), in-laws and of course parents, whether they have travelled abroad or not".

A stunning breach of an individual's right to privacy if you ask me. And obviously yet another way to muzzle the media. The fact that the government is asking about the family of a journalist is itself enough to open it up to charges of intimidation. Isn't this the same government that makes noises about ending corruption? Mark my words, no nation on earth has ended corruption by muzzling down reporters. You listening CTG-supporters?

When asked, government officials told them that a "database of journalists" was being created. Yes, the government is admitting that it is creating a database of people whose job description includes - among other things - saying bad things about the government and people in power. Classic.

Apparently this happened last Wednesday. Has anyone seen any news reports on this?

Coming soon, a form for the people who man our intelligence agencies....

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