BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said the ruling Awami League will have to one day face trial and judgement for abductions, murders, lootings, extortions, depriving people of their voting rights, and oppressing the media and freedom of expression.
He made the comment in a discussion organised at the National Press Club in the capital by the Liberation Celebration Committee to mark "Newspaper Black Day".
Mirza Fakhrul said, "It's a matter of great regret that in 1972, the Awami League engaged in looting, robbery, extortion, abduction, and misgovernance across the country. Then, the Awami League enacted the black law of the Special Power Act, and created an emergency situation to establish an autocratic system."
And the party tried to continue suppressing newspapers and oppressing journalists by establishing the Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (Baksal), he said.
The BNP spokesperson said, "All the media outlets in the country are now scared to publish the truth for fear of possible Awami League oppression. Senior journalists like Abul Asad, Ruhul Amin Gazi, Shawkat Mahmud, Daily Star's Mahfuz Anam, and Prothom Alo's Matiur Rahman, are already oppressed by this government."
Every day the government creates many new issues like that of celebrity Pori Moni to divert public attention from the mismanagement of health and education, he added.
"[BNP Chairperson] Khaleda Zia is now very sick. The government should ensure better treatment for her," said Mirza Fakhrul.
He said, "l have urged journalists, and students – young forces – to unite and work together to protect press freedom and to restore democracy."
BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, Vice-chairman Shawkat Mahmud, Dhaka Union of Journalists, President Kader Gani Chowdhury, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists President M Abdullah, and National Press Club General Secretary Elias Khan, among others, spoke at the event.