Bergman: ‘1st Hearing, 26 July 2010: Arrest warrants issued against 4 Jamaat leaders’ published on August 15, 2010

This is the first article by David Bergman reporting the first hearing which took place at the ICT. Bergman is based in Bangladesh and has been devotedly reporting the detailed proceedings of the ICT for quite a long time. I must say overall he is doing a great job. But while going through the writings I have found some of the statements questionable. The article of our interest is one of them.

Some quick info about the report:


Title: 1st Hearing, 26 July 2010: Arrest warrants issued against 4 Jamaat leaders
Author: David Bergman
Date of publication: August 15, 2010

The article heavily quotes the most circulated national English daily, The Daily Star. The first quotation comes from the July 26 edition of the daily while the second quotation comes from the next day edition.

Until the last paragraph the article is just a series of events at ICT mostly taken from a secondary source. What about the last line? Let me quote Bergman.

There is a question as to whether the Tribunal had the power to issue an arrest warrant at this stage in the proceedings – an issue which will be discussed in a later blog.

Dear reader, I invite you to check with the Daily Star articles like I just did. Didn’t the last question come out of blue? Who raised the question? When? And where? Most importantly what is the jurisdictional basis of this question? Does the article completely satisfy us while it ends? Aren’t we confused here? Do we see a pointer to the later blog which discusses it? Is it possible that a newspaper which uses Bergman as a reference may totally misinterpret this and strongly suggest that the tribunal doesn’t have the jurisdiction to arrest someone and by giving such orders it is overstepping its boundaries?

I accept your argument that ideally such things should not happen. Let me remind you that we do not live in an ideal world. I just fixed a typo in the previous paragraph which ideally shouldn’t have happened!

It is not always possible for a reporter to estimate the impact of the article s/he is writing. So, trying to justify the statements as much as possible with facts and rationale might be the best practice just like we always try to document the code of a computer program as much as possible. I thank David Bergman for taking interest in Bangladesh.

As I have said this is a live commentary on the press covering the ICT of Bangladesh, I am going to send my issues to the authors of this article. I will keep you posted in the comment section whether they agreed with me or not.

  1. Update: David Bergman replied to my tweet. The previously mentioned URL will take you to the thread.

  2. David Bergman said:

    Your point is I think that the last sentence in my post does not make clear that it is a ‘comment’ and gives the impression that it is a line from the Daily Star. I think reading it does not give that impression – since it refers to the fact that it is ‘an issue which will be discussed in a later blog’ (i.e not something which the Daily Star has written. However, in order to make it crystal clear, I have now made it clear that this sentence is titled ‘comment’ and also added a link to an article on this matter.

I would love to know if you disagree. :)

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