BNP accuses govt of gagging media

The BNP has accused the government of plotting to muzzle media in the guise of promoting responsibility and accountability.

Published : 4 August 2014, 10:36 AM
Updated : 4 August 2014, 07:38 PM

“The government is planning to enact several laws and regulations to bring the newspapers, news agencies, online news portals, television, radio and all other branches of media within the purview of accountability and responsibility,” BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said at press briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan office on Monday.

“We believe they are actually trying to use laws to put the entire media inside the government’s cage.”

The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the National Broadcast Policy 2014, which prohibits airing news that can tarnish the image of the armed forces or police or create communal discord.

File Photo

It specifically mentions that talk shows cannot broadcast comments that are 'confusing and not true'.
Rizvi accused Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League led government of being ‘authoritarian’ and alleged that law and order has deteriorated because of it.
He said the government also exhibited ‘criminal tendencies’.
“Our country will lose all its essence if a government like this stays in power for too long. Only a mass campaign can prevent this by toppling the government. We are now headed towards that,” said the BNP leader.
BNP has threatened to begin a ‘tougher’ anti-government campaign after Eid, but is yet to announce the programme.
The police have been detaining BNP leaders and activists to thwart its movement, he said.
“Dr Khandker Musharraf has been granted bail by the High Court but he is still being kept behind bars because of some political motive,” Rizvi said about the incarceration of BNP Standing Committee member, who has been accused in a money laundering case.

Meanwhile, the BNP has rushed a news conference at the party chief’s Gulshan office at 4pm on Tuesday to give its reaction to the broadcast policy.