Bangladesh to jail, fine offenders for obstructing journalists covering elections

The offenders will be handed a fine along with a maximum three years in jail if they attack or obstruct journalists from doing their duty

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 11 Sept 2022, 02:43 PM
Updated : 11 Sept 2022, 02:43 PM

The Election Commission has drafted an amendment to the law, adding a section to protect journalists gathering news of the vote.

The offenders will be handed a fine along with a maximum three years in jail if they attack or obstruct journalists from doing their duty, Election Commissioner Ahsan Habib Khan said on Sunday, describing the journalists as the eyes and ears of the EC.

The minimum jail term for the offences under the new section of the Representation of the People Order will be one year.

Ahsan Habib said the amended draft was sent to the law ministry for approval.

He said security cameras were used in Sunday’s polls to Jhenaidah municipality and the commission wants the next parliamentary election to be under video surveillance.

In case of a lack of funds, the commission will try to use the CCTV cameras at least in the polling stations vulnerable to violence or vote fraud, he said.

“CCTV cameras ensure transparency and accountability. They also scare criminals off,” he said.

“The importance of CCTV cameras is increasing. It’s not a luxury anymore, but a necessity.”

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