Bangladesh: ARTICLE 19 fellow loses leg on deadly roads
06 Jan 2012
ARTICLE 19 urges the government to ensure journalist Nikhil Bhadra receives adequate support and compensation for losing his leg after a state-owned bus ran over him outside Dhaka’s Jatiya Press Club .
Bhadra, 38, had his right leg amputated on 28 December hours after a Bangladesh Road Transportation Corporation-owned bus ran over him on a notorious stretch of Topkhana road in front of the National Press Club.
Bhadra, who works as a senior reporter for the Bangla daily Kaler Kantha, was promised medical support by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, including treatment abroad if necessary. Such support is yet to be received. Bhadra’s wife, Shakila Perveen Ruma commented to ARTICLE 19: “I only wish that my husband receives support for his best treatment so that he is able to carry on with his life and work once again as before”.
Doctors state that without treatment, any further deterioration to Bhadra’s condition would be life-threatening. The prime minister has donated money and instructed Bangladesh’s Communications Ministry to arrange for Bhadra’s treatment abroad and support to his family.
ARTICLE 19 urges the Communications Ministry to implement the promises of the prime minister and joins other journalists, media and civil society voices in calling for recommendations made by the Probe Committee to be implemented to stop further deaths.
Bhadra received an ARTICLE 19 fellowship in 2010 to support his development as an investigative journalist working on right to information issues. He has since worked at leading Bangla dailies such as Dainik Sangbad and Jai Jai Din on issues relating to transparency, parliament and the accountability of the Bangladeshi Election Commission.
During Bhadra’s ARTICLE 19 fellowship he wrote about the effects of shrimp cultivation exposing its negative impact on the environment in southwestern Bangladesh, and supported advocacy groups to demand a national policy to address it.
Road accidents in Bangladesh have risen at an alarming rate over the past few years. They claim on an average 12,000 lives annually and lead to about 35,000 injuries. Bhadra’s accident joins the growing list of people and journalists who have met with brutal road crashes. They include the fatal road crash of noted filmmaker Tareque Masud and media personality Ashfaque Munier Mishuk in August 2011. Their deaths sent shockwaves throughout Bangladesh.
For more information, please contact Tahmina Rahman, email@example.com +880-171-303-9669
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