Brother of exiled anti-corruption journalist attacked

The brother of a Bangladeshi journalist living in exile in London, Zulkarnain Saer Khan, pictured, has been attacked and badly injured at his home in Dhaka.

Mr Khan told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that his brother, Mahinur Khan, suffered broken kneecaps and swelling and bruising throughout his body, and that the attackers said his journalist brother had been writing “against the government”. Neighbours of Mr Khan are reported as saying the attackers were supporters of the governing Awami League.

Zulkarnain Saer Khan works as a researcher with the investigative unit of the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, and recently published investigative reports on alleged corruption by government officials with the Awami League, and Bangladesh’s expanding surveillance apparatus.

“The attack on the brother of Bangladeshi journalist Zulkarnain Saer Khan is the latest case of the family of journalists in exile being targeted back home,” said Beh Lih Yi of the CPJ.

Zulkarnain Saer Khan has contributed to Al-Jazeera, an investigative news website Netra News, which specialises in Bangladesh, and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

Bangladesh law enforcement has submitted several requests to Twitter to remove tweets from Khan’s account, where he frequently posts political news and commentary, including one in November 2022 that alleged Bangladesh government officials had submitted malicious reports to Meta, Facebook’s parent company, resulting in multiple temporary restrictions on his Facebook page.