Bangladesh: Brother of Exiled Investigative Journalist Allegedly ‘Beaten with Rods’

    Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • Mahinur Khan, brother of the Bangladesh journalist Zulkarnain Saer Khan –who worked with Al Jazeera's Investigative Unit on a report linking high-ranking government officials to corruption– stated Thursday that four men attacked him with iron rods last week in Dhaka.

    • He claimed that he was beaten in the evening as he stepped out of his house to buy groceries, allegedly as a punishment for his brother's criticism of PM Sheikh Hasina and her government.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This attack was clearly coordinated by those in power to try to scare Zulkarnain. The Bangladesh government has been restraining freedom of the press on the basis of halting activities purportedly spreading confusion among the public as it seeks to shut down voices criticizing the ruling Awami League party.

    Narrative B

    While shocking, this incident has nothing to do with freedom of the press and expression, as the opposition claims. Bangladesh is truly committed to ensuring these rights, and until further investigation, outlandish accusations to the contrary should be taken with a grain of salt.

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