Speakers at a discussion on Tuesday underscored the need for positive engagement of rights organizations with the government to protect and promote freedom of expression and human rights.
Human rights organisations are allies of the government, not opponent. It must have increase their positive engagement with the government. Through mutual cooperation, it is possible to work together on various human rights issues, they added.
Speakers emphasized the need for concerted efforts by police, media and human rights organizations to protect and promote human rights. According to them, it is important to build a collaborative relationship between the police and journalists in order to understand, realize and share knowledge on the important issues of law and human rights. Rights organizations can play an important role in this.
A Z M Nafiul Islam, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Special Branch said, "Police and journalists are allies and not rivals in their respective workplace. Police take utmost precaution when it comes to any legal action against journalists." Rafiqul Islam, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said, "Members of the law enforcement agencies also have human rights. In many cases, the human rights of the police are either suppressed or forgotten while discharging duties."
Calling on those concerned to take initiative in determining the professional identity of journalists to curb the illicit influence of fake journalists, S M Rezaul Haque, ADC of Detective Branch (DB) said, "It is important to identify fake journalists in order to uphold the dignity of the profession and of those who do real journalism." Senior journalist Masuda Bhatti said that it is not appropriate to indiscriminately blame the law enforcement agencies and the government whenever there is any negative incident. "There is no alternative to concerted efforts to establish human rights. We have to get out of this culture of blame game and take concerted action to ensure the cooperation and protection of journalists in their professional work", she said. Faruq Faisel, Regional Director of ARTICLE 19 South Asia said, ‘’Civil society organizations are not opponents of the government, but allies. Through mutual cooperation, it is feasible to work together on various human rights issues, including freedom of expression and protection of journalists.
‘Some of the prime milestones of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to establish good governance, such as peace, justice, strong institutions, and an inclusive society. In order to achieve that ARTICLE 19 has been working through positive engagement with the government, citizens and CSO organizations,’ he said.
Among others, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Enamul Haque Sagar, ASP Md. Abu Yusuf, ARTICLE 19 Senior Programme Officer Moriom Shelly and Programme Associate Sabrina Mamtaj were also present on the occasion.