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Reporters Without Borders served with legal notice for ‘untrue’ report on Hasina

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-07-27 23:00:09 BdST

Reporters Sans Frontieres, or Reporters Without Borders, has been served with a legal notice for publishing an “untrue” report on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

French lawyer Madou Kone served the legal notice on the RSF on behalf of four Bangladesh-origin French citizens -- Abul Kashem, Mojibur Rahman, Manjurul Hasa Chowdhury and Koyes Dilwar Husain, the information ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The RSF published a list of 37 heads of state or government of 37 countries, on Jul 2, saying they “crack down massively on press freedom”. Hasina’s name is also on the list.

The notice asked the RSF to explain within 15 days why it should not face legal action for “untrue description” of Hasina and Bangladesh in the report titled “Old Tyrants, Two Women and a European: RSF Unveils Its 2021 Edition of Predators of Press Freedom”.

The ministry said the notice highlighted legal aspects of the “errors” in the report.

It said even France’s Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881 criminalises publishing discourteous comments on an individual in hand-written or printed statements, posters, placards or any other form.

The notice mentioned rejoinders issued by the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and the Dhaka Union of Journalists to the RSF report.

The Press Information Department also issued a rejoinder on Jul 9 on orders from Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud, threatening to take legal action if the “untrue” report on Bangladesh is not taken down.