Bangladesh editor arrested after reports on graft
Dhaka: The editor of an online Bangladesh newspaper and weekly magazine that wrote a series of stories on alleged graft linked to government ministers was arrested on Sunday on charges of extortion, police said.
Ekramul Haq, 46, the editor and owner of Sheershanews.com and Weekly Sheershakagoj, was picked up by plainclothed policemen from his home in central Dhaka just before dawn, police sub-inspector Shahida Hossain said.
"We arrested Mr Haq after a businessman filed a case alleging that he demanded two million taka (around USD 25,000) from him. He had threatened to write stories against the businessman," she said.
Haq launched online Bengali newspaper Sheershanews.com two years ago and it has since become a leading website for breaking news.
His weekly has written stories on allegations of graft linked to two ministers, a personal secretary of the premier, bureaucrats and businessmen close to the government, according to Sheernews.com.
The arrest came just two weeks after the government cancelled all media accreditation for the online site and the weekly, prompting protests by the opposition parties, local media rights groups and press clubs.
The government has yet to make any comment on the arrest.
Harunur Rashid, a senior government spokesman, said the media accreditation was cancelled after the website and weekly "violated all norms of journalism and for character assassinations of ministers and officials".