• Saturday, Oct 31, 2020
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BNP for united movement to ‘protect democracy’

  • Published at 07:13 pm September 19th, 2020
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press briefing after celebrating “Biplob O Songhoti Dibos” with party members at the party's Naya Paltan office on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Awami League doesn’t believe in democracy, says Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said media freedom and democracy in Bangladesh “cannot be protected” without a united movement.

“A message should be given to all that democracy, journalism, and the country and its independence and sovereignty can’t be protected without a united movement,” he said.

The BNP leader said: “There’s no way-out other than changing the current situation. The only way to remove this fascist government is a united movement and struggle. We need unity and we’ve always been trying to forge it. We have to move forward by creating a national unity.”

He made the remarks at a virtual discussion arranged by a faction of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ).

Fakhrul said the unity of people and political parties is now imperative to “restore” democracy for which the nation fought against Pakistani occupation forces and liberated the country in 1971.

Also Read- BNP: Govt distorting history

“The current government has no political values as Awami League doesn’t believe in democracy. Awami League and democracy never go together and there’s no democracy in their chemistry. They think they’re all in all and they’ll run the country and control everything,” he observed.

The BNP leader said the media and journalists are going through the toughest time due to the government’s “repressive and suppressive” acts. “A situation has been created here, especially creating fear and panic, that no one now dares to raise their voice and express their views freely.”

He said there have never been so many unemployed journalists in the country. “After the introduction of Bakshal in 1975, all but four newspapers were shut. They now indirectly created the same situation. Those who now speak in favour of them and those who are on their side will only be able to run their newspapers, channels, and media outlets. But they won’t allow others to do so."

Fakhrul said many journalists were killed, made disappeared, sacked, repressed, and sent to jail facing the wrath of the government. "Even after that, you have to turn around as you’re the foundation of democracy.”

Fakhrul said democracy can never be established without free flow of information or free media as the mass media can play a major role in the democratic society in all countries, in all eras, and at all times.

DUJ President Kader Gani Chowdhury said the Digital Security Act has become a dangerous obstacle to expressing freedom of speech. “By creating a culture of fear, this law is being used as a weapon to gag the media and suppress the dissent.”

Describing the Digital Security Act as a ‘dogmatic’ law, he said it cannot exist in any civilized society or in any civilized welfare state. “It’s an unconstitutional law. We demand the immediate repeal of this law.”

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