Cartooning for Peace joins forces with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and its partners for the respect of press freedom in Bangladesh.
Cartooning for Peace is one of the four co-signatories of the open letter addressed by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mrs. Sheikh Hasina on 3 June 2020.
The co-signatories call on her to guarantee press freedom in her country while a wave of arrests targeting many journalists, including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore, has occurred in the country on the grounds of the repressive Digital Security Law of 2018.
In particular, the partners call on the Prime Minister and the Government to:
- Make sure physical attacks against reporters do not go unpunished by ensuring that the attorney general orders the investigations that are needed for the perpetrators and instigators to be arrested and tried for their actions.
- Drop the abusive prosecutions of journalists, bloggers and cartoonists under the Digital Security Act.
- Reform the press freedom legislation so that it complies with the undertakings your government has given to international bodies including the UN Human Rights Council on 14 May 2018. To this end, the Government should amend the Digital Security Act and draft a law on protecting journalists.
As previously said, Ahmed Kabir Kishore was arrested on 6 May and is accused of spreading rumours and disinformation following the publication of a series of press cartoons criticising the management of the COVID-19 health crisis in the country.
Still in prison, when many of those arrested have already been released, his health condition is a cause for concern and Cartooning for Peace and Cartoonists Rights International are also calling for guarantees that sanitary and detention rules will be respected as the pandemic hits the country hard. Continue