Maskwaith Ahsan: Journalist Abdul Hakim Shimul was shot on Thursday Feb 02, 2017, by a shotgun owned by the mayor of Shahazadpur, a north-western town of Bangladesh, while covering an armed clash there between two groups of the party in power Awami League.
Shimul succumbed to his injuries and died the next day. His camera and mobile phone went missing afterwards which had photos of the violence that took place there.
Hearing this shocking news, Shimul’s grandmother died of brain hemorrhage, his wife became a widow and his child an orphan, his parents lost their son and friends lost a fine soul.
Shimul was regarded as a very professional and thoroughly honest journalist who entered the field to report the truth and serve the people of his country.
We strongly condemn this killing which portrays the gun-and-goon political barbarism of Bangladesh. Killing of journalists in Bangladesh is a regular phenomenon and the government is merciless in its unwillingness to deliver justice for such crimes against humanity.
Most of the journalist leaders are sold out rotten souls who either remain silent as collaborators of the establishment or sell themselves out on humanitarian issues.
There’s no one to ensure journalists’ safety and security; political hooligans are free to roam around killing anyone who tries to report the truth, the police dance in the lap of a cruel establishment and the judiciary can hardly offer safeguards to journalist being held hostage by corrupt politicians and looters.
Many prominent journalists either stay silent at the serial killing of journalists or shed crocodile tears, all the while maintaining loyalty to the party in power. So no death gets closure and the killing and torturing of journalists becomes easier by each death.
In this jungle of injustice the blood of journalists and the tears of their bereaved families turn into rivers of dark despair. Should we continue to be silent witnesses to such a state of fear! Silencing journalists and the media depresses any possibility of good governance, democracy and justice while autocratic anarchy rules over distressed humanity.
Courageous journalists like Shimul who don’t conform to a Frankenstein political system get killed with increasing ferocity thus weakening the pillars of Bangladesh’s foundation to its very core. Shimul’s death is the death of yet another journalist who refused to abide by the laws of jungle.