Vol. 5 Num 568 Sat. December 31, 2005  

'Resist proposed amendment to Bangladesh Press Council Actí

Speakers at a seminar here yesterday called for united efforts by both the newsmen and conscious people to resist the proposed amendment to Bangladesh Press Council Act 1974.

The seminar titled 'The freedom of media and Bangladesh Press Council Act 1974' was organised jointly by the Forum for Development, Journalism and Communication Studies, Chittagong and Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication, Dhaka at the Theatre Institute.

Abul Momen, resident editor of the Prothom Alo, moderated the seminar where Chittagong Bureau Chief of the Bhorer Kagoj Omar Kaisar presented the keynote paper.

Dean of Chittagong University Law faculty Prof Mohammed Zakir Hossain, General Secretary of Chittagong District Lawyers' Association Advocate Humayun Kabir Russel, and General Secretary of Chittagong Union of Journalist Shahid Ul Alam took part in the discussion.

Abul Momen said there is no need for introducing any special law for the journalists who as citizens of the state could easily be brought to justice under the existing laws.

Omar Kaiser said freedom of press has to be maintained as the media or press is known as "watchdog" in a democracy.

"Journalists have to follow professional ethics and make reports without fear or favour," said Shahid Ul Alam.

Expressing solidarity with the journalists, Advocate Humayun Kabir assured his cooperation to any movement to resist the amendment.

"The duty of Press Council is not to suppress the media," Ali Asgar Chowdhuy said, adding, "Rather its duty is to ensure smooth functioning of media," he added.

Prof Md Zakir Hossain said a vested quarter is instigating the government for the amendment to suppress the media and gain narrow interest.

He urged the media men to unite against all evil designs against press freedom.