The most difficult part of my job

I monitor press freedom and the media rights situation in South Asia. Every month, I lose a friend or a friend’s friend, passionate about fellow citizens’ rights and democracy. Every time, I feel the region has lost someone who could have contributed to bring positive change to society.

In April 2017, I lost one very good friend. Maldivian blogger Yameen Rasheed was brutally hacked to death for his writing by religious extremists. It took me a week before I could accept that he was no more. Yameen had passionately run a long campaign to find the truth behind the 2014 disappearance of his journalist friend Ahmed Rilwan.

On December 31 every year, the IFJ publishes the Killed List – a list of journalists and media staff killed in the year just past. In 2017, we lost 82 journalists and media staff around the world – 23 of them in three countries of South Asia: Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

But Rasheed’s name is not included in this year’s list, as he was not a journalist in the strict sense of the term, though he had written commentaries on news and events on his blogs since 2013. Rilwan also never made the IFJ Killed List, for he only ‘disappeared’ in August 8, 2014 and there has been no proof to establish that he was killed. The IFJ AP does keep record of missing journalists and media workers on its ‘Without A Trace’ page. This is our space dedicated to the memory of those lost but not forgotten.

India witnessed the death of six journalists in 2017. One of them Sudip Datta Bhowmik, a 50-year-old crime reporter, was killed inside the headquarters of the armed police; and another, young Santanu Bhowmik, was beaten to death by a mob because he worked for a television channel that the mob didn’t like. Gauri Lankesh, who was shot to death in Bangalore, was not only a journalist but a woman of many merits, but she was eliminated because some people didn’t like what she wrote.

Afghanistan lost a dozen in 2017 – some of them in terror attacks, and some in ambush. Pakistan lost four. Bangladesh saw the killing of Abdul Hakim Shimul, a journalist shot while reporting on a demonstration. The motives behind the killings is mostly to silence criticism, something crucial for a functioning democracy and citizen’s rights.

I don’t know all of them, but every time a journalist is killed anywhere, I feel sad. Every time a journalist is killed in South Asia, I grieve because it feels like losing a friend who was just performing the expected duties of a journalist, the same way we all do.

We know journalism today is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. For every journalist killed, there are countless incidents of journalists being beaten, attacked, harassed and threatened almost on a daily basis. Most of these journalists in our region work with great passion, on meager pay and in difficult working conditions.

After the grief, the feeling turn to anger and frustration because in most of these cases the killers are not arrested or punished. The level of impunity is high, as is the apathy and unaccountability of security agencies and government. Right now we celebrate if police make even a single arrest in any case.

Many times, I wonder in despair why I am counting the number of killed journalists. But I know the answer, and that answer is so strong that it gives me strength to continue my work. Because if we stop counting, if we stop monitoring attacks, if we stop raising our voices for justice, and if we stop campaigning for the safety of journalists, then many more journalists will be killed. Passionate journalists and bloggers like Yameen could disappear altogether, and democracy will be on its death bed.

So the annual IFJ Killed List is not a morgue register. The numbers are not mere statistics. They are a message of solidarity to journalists all over the world that their work is important, that they will not be forgotten, and there will be attempts to ensure justice to them. Nobody can silence their voices, not even the killers.

Photo (clockwise): Sudip Dutta Bhowmik, Press ID card of Abdul Hakim Shimul, Santanu Bhowmik, Yameen Rasheed and Ahmed Rilwan.

(Originally published in the IFJ’s South Asia Media Solidarity Network digital hub.)

328 thoughts on “The most difficult part of my job

  1. Hey there! Quick question that’s totally off topic.

    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My weblog looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix
    this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.

  2. great publish, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice
    this. You must proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’
    base already!

  3. The other beginning version is the three card spread. This version is most effective when you ask questions that require a simple yes or no answer. The three cards are meant to represent the past, the present and the future of the person having the reading done. You lay these cards from left to right.

  4. I’d like to tthank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site.

    I really hopoe to view the same high-grade conternt from you
    in thhe fture aas well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own site now 😉

  5. Excellent blog you have got here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing
    like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like
    you! Take care!!

  6. Good day! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you’ve got
    right here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your website
    for more soon.

  7. I am no longer positive the place you’re getting your info, but great
    topic. I needs to spend some time studying much more or understanding more.

    Thank you for wonderful info I used to be on the lookout for
    this info for my mission.

  8. Is there a degree that exists for use of music AND creative writing two fields? If there is, do you know the name of it?. . I want to combine these two of my interests (loves) but I don’t know what kind of degree offers the use of both.. . Please help? Approaching college?.

  9. Hey I know thius is offf topic but I was wondering
    if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like thgis for quite
    some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something
    like this. Please let me know if you run info anything.
    I truly enjoy readiing your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  10. This may be the most unusual and memorable way to spend New Year’s Eve ever! Take an hour-and-a-half kayak trip on the Bay and watch the midnight fireworks show close up. For $68 per person, City Kayak provides all your gear including a stable touring kayak and jacket and mittens, a quick paddle lesson and instructions, guides, an escort power boat, and a sparkling water or champagne toast. Participants must have some previous kayaking experience.

  11. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on various websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  12. My computer would keep freezing. I got so tired of it and while I was never thrilled with what I had seen of Linux, I decided I would try one of the distributions because I was really tired of Windows.

  13. Hi, every time i used to check web site posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i likee to learn more andd

  14. I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re utilizing? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest website and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any recommendations?

  15. Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Appreciate it

  16. I not to mention my buddies were found to be going through the good tips from the blog while the sudden I got an awful feeling I had not thanked the web site owner for those techniques. These ladies had been certainly thrilled to see all of them and have in effect in reality been using these things. Thank you for simply being well accommodating as well as for finding such incredible areas millions of individuals are really wanting to understand about. My very own sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to earlier.

  17. Hello are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new too the blog world buut I’m trying to
    get started and set up my own. Do you require any html
    coding knowledge tto make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  18. I just could not go away your web site before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info a person supply in your visitors? Is gonna be again continuously to investigate cross-check new posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *