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Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz publishes two commentaries

Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has published two commentaries on the challenges to press freedom and on the impacts of the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) in India.

Riaz discussed various strategies used by autocratic and hybrid regimes around the world in a commentary titled “How New Autocrats Curb Media Freedom.”  Riaz argues that with democratic backsliding and the emergence of regimes with both democratic and authoritarian traits, press freedom has severely diminished. These new autocrats have adopted new strategies such as strategic silencing, issuing media licenses to regime supporters, legislating draconian laws, and allowing its supporters to verbally and physically attack journalists, editors, and media institutions. Their actions are forcing journalists to self-censor. The commentary was published in the Star Weekend.

In his commentary on the recent trend of the influx of Indian citizens to Bangladesh, Riaz insists that two factors are in play. The first is the recently concluded (NRC) in the Indian state of Assam followed by the threat of similar exercise throughout the country. The incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party’s threat in this regard has sent a chilling message to a large Muslim community. In Assam, more than 1.9 million inhabitants have been made stateless. There is steady migration to Bangladesh in the past two months. The second factor, Riaz argues, is the relationship between India and Bangladesh. The ruling party in Bangladesh, Awami League, has become politically dependent on India’s support for survival. He further argues that the lopsided relationship in favor of India has allowed the Indian government the opportunity to create a fearful environment, which leads to mass migration from India to Bangladesh. The commentary, titled ‘Two contexts of Influx from India,” is published in the Daily Star.