Hungarian Direkt36 behind Al Jazeera’s anti-Bangladesh stories


Direkt36 is a non-profit investigative journalism center in Hungary was founded in 2015. It has more than 2,700 private donors, who supported Direkt36’s work on more than 11,000 occasions. Direkt36 covers a significant part of its operating costs with funds received from private donors and fees paid by its media partners that publish stories from this Hungarian organization. Out of over 2,700 “private donors”, Direkt36 has published names of only 8 of its donors. They are: Anne Avis, Jimena Abad, Tamás Bódi, Adrienne Erdővégi, Sándor Joób, Ildikó Naetar-Bakcsi, László Tenki and István Varga.

Direkt36 has been a part of Panama Papers investigation, while it played key-role behind ‘Ukraine Scandal’ against Donald Trump. It is anticipated that Democratic Party or some of its influential figures had donated fund behind the Ukraine Scandal, which certainly had political vendetta against Donald Trump.

This Hungarian organization is run by a team of skilled professionals, which include Szabolcs Panyi, András Pethő, Gergő Sáling, András Szabó, Zsuzsanna Wirth and Blanka Zöldi.

Advisors of Direkt36 are: Márton Galambos, Ellen Hume, Sándor Orbán and Balázs Weyer.

On the ‘About Us’ page of Direkt36, the organization describes its missions stating:

We provide the Hungarian and international audience with in-depth accountability reporting that most of the Hungarian media outlets do not have the resources to pursue. Direkt36 is not part of the competition of news organizations covering daily events, which allows us to focus our resources exclusively on conducting systematic investigations.

We actively participate in the work of a growing international investigative journalism community and we publish all of our stories – which often have international implications – also in English.

Staffs and advisers of Direkt36 are well connected with Hungarian and international media including Index, Origo, Washington Post, BBC, Abcúg, Figyelő, Forbes, Kreatív, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times etcetera.

Amongst the advisers of Direkt36, Ellen Hume is well-known in the US Capitol Hill for her career as the political correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and national reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She has also worked as the Research Director at the Center for Future Civic Media in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also served as executive director and senior fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center.

The root of Al Jazeera’s anti-Bangladesh report

For years, war criminal Mir Qashem Ali’s family has been looking for opportunity of defaming the Bangladesh government. In 2019, a British-born journalist contacted family member of war criminal Mir Qashem Ali offering a “massive media” offensive on the ruling party in Bangladesh. By that time, ex cadet Zulkarnain Saer Khan was already in contact with the British-born journalist. Qashim Ali’s family readily agreed to provide required fund for the campaign.

Subsequently, this British-born journalist contacted Al Jazeera, and later Direkt36 and They agreed to move ahead with the project, while Mir Qashim Ali’s family was ready to spend “any amount” required for this.

Direkt36 although agreed to be a part of the project, they were unwilling to appear on Al Jazeera’s screen. But this was not any problem as the British-born journalist was ready to appear on the screen and pretend to be the mastermind behind the entire project. Later, the same journalist contacted the editor of a controversial and anti-government English daily in Dhaka and told him about the upcoming Al Jazeera campaign. At this stage, at the suggestions of the British-born journalist, Zulkarnain Saer Khan started contacting few of his friends in Dhaka requesting them to provide any anti-government information.


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