August 22, 2004, in Manikcchari, Bangladesh
Hossain, the local correspondent for the Bangla-language daily Ajker Kagoj, was abducted and brutally murdered by unknown assailants in the early morning in Manikcchari, eastern Chittagong District, according to local news reports. The newswire service the United News of Bangladesh (UNB) reported that police discovered Hossain's decapitated body nearby hours later.
According to Bangladeshi news reports, armed men broke into Hossain's house in the middle of the night and threatened to kill Hossain's 2-year-old son unless he surrendered to them. The men took Hossain away at gunpoint.
Hossain, 32, was the general secretary of the Manikcchari Press Club and had recently written several articles about criminal activity, according to local journalists. The Chittagong District is notorious for organized crime, including the illegal trade of lumber and arms, sources told CPJ. Hossain was also involved with the local youth wing of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, and had recently had a dispute with a neighbor about land, Bangladeshi news outlets reported.
But local journalists told CPJ they are convinced that Hossain's murder was related to his investigative reporting about organized crime.
His wife says he had received death threats before his murder, according to local news reports. An article in Ajker Kagoj at the time of his death also claimed that Hossain was likely killed because of his investigative work. Bangladeshi press groups condemned the killing and called for justice.
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