Bangladesh | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


The print media are diverse and often critical of the government. However, journalists frequently face pressure from organized crime groups, political parties, the government, and Islamic fundamentalists, and practice some self-censorship. Two journalists were killed in 2001, and numerous others were attacked and left for dead. Violence against journalists by assailants with ties to political parties and local leaders mounted before and after the national elections in October. Journalists could not visit some parts of the country after they received repeated assaults and death threats; seven journalists who had been tortured were forced to flee one city, and the home of one journalist was bombed. From October to December, at least 40 journalists had been attacked or threatened by supporters of the new government, according to Reporters sans Frontieres. Police occasionally beat journalists covering demonstrations. In November, the government arrested and began a treason investigation against leading journalist Shahriar Kabir after he made a documentary about Hindus who fled to India in the wake of the elections. Political considerations influence the distribution of government advertising and subsidized newsprint. In July, parliament voted to grant autonomy to the state-run Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Radio.