Joy sharply reacts to editors, citizens’ concerns over cases against Daily Star Editor
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy has reacted sharply to the statements issued by the Editors’ Council and a group of citizens expressing concern about cases against The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam.
Joy said none of the defamation cases had been filed by the government following Anam’s admission of running a false smear campaign against Hasina in the period of the caretaker government of 2007-2009.
“As a consequence of his actions my mother, at her age, had to spend 11 months in prison,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “If Mahfuz Anam is feeling harassed, perhaps he should find out what spending 11 months in jail on false charges feels like.”
“The only recourse that politicians and famous personalities have is civil law by claiming damages,” he wrote.
“If nothing else, at least the pain of legal fees and time in court should make a journalist think twice before publishing something false and destroying a person’s good name,” he added.
Joy also raised question: “….is the media immune from any liability whatsoever?”
“After all that, he says, “Oops, my mistake!” And we should all forget about it and move on? There should be no justice for my mother, my family and our party the Awami League? There should be no accountability?” Joy wrote.
A number of politicians, including Hasina and former prime minister Khaleda Zia, faced corruption cases and were arrested during the 2007-’08 military-controlled caretaker government’s regime.
On Feb 3 this year, Daily Star Editor Anam admitted on a TV talk-show that it was a ‘big mistake’ for him to run unsubstantiated reports fed by the army’s intelligence unit DGFI against Hasina during the caretaker government’s tenure.
Joy then demanded Anam’s trial for sedition. This was followed by dozens of cases being filed against Anam in several districts.
The plaintiffs have demanded billions of taka in damages. The Editors’ Council, of which Anam is the general secretary, demanded withdrawal of the cases in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Editors’ Council expects that good sense would prevail among all quarters,” the statement said.
On Thursday, 35 citizens issued a statement condemning the “harassment” of Anam.
In reaction to their concern, Joy wrote on his Facebook wall: “Yet, this group does not want to be held accountable even to this low bar.
Instead they want to throw mud and call it an attack on the media. “This is not an attack on the media. It is also not even criminal litigation. It is civil litigation. This is what happens in all
countries with a modern legal system. If you cause someone harm, the aggrieved party has every right to sue you for damages,” he added. – News Desk