Author: Kiara Bramasco

BANGLADESH: Medical Interns Attack Journalists

KIARA BRAMASCO WRITES –  Interns at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) apparently left their posts recently just long enough to beat up approximately 10 journalists, leaving one critically injured. What would Hippocrates say? On April 22, The Daily Star reported that police had been escorting journalists into the hospital the previous Sunday when interns grabbed the law enforcers’ weapons and turned on the reporters. Those assaulted were from Jamuna TV, Independent TV, and Maasranga TV. They were attempting to cover reports of patient negligence following an incident involving a patient’s relative slapping of an intern. In addition to injuring the reporters and preventing their coverage, the interns damaged much of their equipment, including laptops and cameras. Of course, those injured were admitted to different hospitals, such as the Islami Bank Limited Hospital and Apollo Hospital in Dhaka. Local Bangladeshi journalists have demanded that the interns be arrested. Since the incident, journalists have sued 157 interns of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. The interns, on the other hand, have taken an indefinite leave of absence from work. Something tells us that their presence won’t be missed. ...

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BANGLADESH: From Blog to Arrest

KIARA BRAMASCO WRITES – On February 18, the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladeshi Police force, arrested 21-year-old Rasel Bin Sattar Khan for circulating an audiovisual message online. According to The Hindu, the message is believed to be from al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri who invites Muslims in Bangladesh to partake in an uprising “against the enemies of Islam.” The message was first uploaded last November, but spread recently after Khan uploaded the message to his blog. The Daily Star reports that Khan is in violation of Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act after Khan admitted to posting the message on his Facebook page and blogs. The Bangladeshi government has yet to confirm whether or not the message was from Al-Zawahiri, but, considering the message’s age, it’s clear the nation has been monitoring online content poorly. This point was admitted by the State Minister for Home, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, who also announced a meeting would be held on February 20 to address this glaring oversight. The current proposal is to form a government body that will monitor online content that affects Bangladesh. While police participation in administering media guidelines is usually cause for scrutiny, we can’t help but realize such surveillance occasionally works for...

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BANGLADESH: Journalists Under Arrest

KIARA BRAMASCO WRITES –  Three Bangladeshi journalists were arrested January 16 for publishing what Information Minister Hansanul Huq Inu called a “baseless” story. The story in question was a report in the online and print editions of the pro-opposition Daily Inqilab that Indian security forces had helped Bangladeshi officials contain protests leading up to the Jan. 5 national elections. According to The News, the story quoted social networking sites and two news websites. But the foreign ministry denies the report’s allegations and insists that the story was “fabricated.” Further, the New Zealand Herald stated that the Bangladeshi court allowed police to detain one journalist for two days of questioning. Two of his supervisors were also temporarily held in jail. The newspaper journalists were charged with violating Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology Act. According to ABC News, although the government did not stop the story’s publication, the Daily Inqilab is continuing only in its regular online edition. The Bengali language Daily Inqilab has since apologized for publishing the controversial...

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BANGLADESH: Tweets for Change

KIARA BRAMASCO WRITES – Internet technology and Twitter join forces to spread awareness of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The Accord is an independent, legally-binging agreement signed by over 100 apparel corporations, several Bangladeshi Unions, two global trade unions, and nineteen countries from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Its aim is to implement health and safety measures to ensure a safe working environment for the Bangladeshi garment industry. The Accord was created after the disastrous collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka where over one thousand garment factory workers died. Now, the creation of the Accord hopes to ensure that Bangladeshi workers operate in safer conditions. On Monday October 7, the Accord launched its own website in English where inspection updates and signatories, such as H&M and Marks and Spencer, are listed. On October 21, Fashion United, a UK based fashion news source reported on the launch of the Accord website and the new Twitter account helping to spread awareness of the work and purpose of the Accord. Although initially launched in English, the website will also be available Bangla in late October. The interim executive director of the Accord, Sean Ansett told Fashion United that “Via our Twitter-account, @bangaccord, individuals can play a part in extending knowledge and understanding of the vital need for action and the positive changes that the Accord...

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BANGLADESH: Spotlight Shifts to Tanneries

KIARA BRAMASCO WRITES – The Bangladeshi garment industry is no stranger to inspection in recent months, but the spotlight is now shifting from cloth to hide. The industry has been under a microscope ever since 1,129 people died earlier this year in the collapse of Rana Plaza, an eight-story commercial building that housed garment factories in an industrial suburb of Dhaka. The tragedy received wide media coverage and highlighted issues surrounding the industry’s safety regulations. Now, another profitable sector of the nation’s economy deserves the attention, as it has exhibited problematic consequences for its workers. On Sunday October 13, The Star, reported on Bangladesh’s tanneries, a sector where “working conditions are brutal, illness is rampant, and degradation of the environment is brazen.” Bangladesh has more than 200 tanneries, most of which are located in Hazaribagh, on the bank of the Buriganga River. There the facilities tan and treat hides before they’re exported and manufactured into products elsewhere. The leather industry in Bangladesh produces almost $1 billion in sales each year, yet ignores many basic safety regulations. Workers often fail to wear protective gear such as boots, gloves or masks as they work with poisonous chemicals to treat the hides. These chemicals also pollute the air and neighboring river, contaminating water downstream. Though there’s no data on how many tanners have died in the last six decades, the World Health Organization recently reported that...

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Asia Media International Staff

ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL is a student-driven publication of Loyola Marymount University’s Asia Media Center – a vital part of LMU’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS), and in an alliance with the university's award-winning Dept.of Political Science (POLS)

MANAGING EDITORS:
Savannah Nunez

Sabrina Verduzco


Executive Director and Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief:
Jay Seo

Curriculum Coordinator:
Yi Ning Wong

Senior Writers [Beat]:
Katrina Crosby [Profiles]
Alexis Cruz [Qatar]
Momokoo (Yuchan) Deng [China]
Diana Jablonski [Malaysia]
Matthew Lange [Asian Profiles,Anime]
Frances Magsalin [Korea/Kpop]
Aashna Malpani [Feminism in Asia]
Hiromi Ochi [Singapore]
Fassa Sar [Film]
Gloria Santillan [Korea]
Sebastian Segura [Russia]
Elizabeth Soelistio [Indonesia]
C.J. Stone [Japan]
Tommy Sutjipto [China]
Eva Thio [Indonesia]
Clementine Todorov [Bangladesh & Vietnam]
Yi Ning Wong [Asia Culture]

Associate Director of Development:
Simon Bleeker

Special Correspondent:
Clementine Todorov

Emeritus Managing Editors:
Mary Grace Costa
Kelcey Lorenzo

Contribuing Editors Emeritus:
Robert Dylan Fields
Eriko Lee Katayama
Ryan Lippert
Adrian Narayan [India]
James Royce [Australia]
Miranda Pak [Hong Kong]
Lamiya Shabir [Pakistan & Islam]
Yunfei Suo [China]
Erisa Takeda [Japan Politics]
Katie Trinh [Vietnam]
Ryan Urban [Singapore]

Emeritus Associate Publishers:
Jeremiah Fajardo
Brian Chris Canave
Peyton Cross

Emeritus Executive Editor:
Lexie Tucker

Executive Senior Editor:
Ben Sullivan

Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Prof Tom Plate

ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE:
Gareth C.C. Chang, Gene Park, Tom Plate, Jennifer Ramos, Kal Raustiala, Jeremiah Fajardo, Ben Sullivan, Greg Treverton