'The government has a responsibility to protect the freedom of expression for the prosperity of the society'
Speakers at a roundtable said the draft Digital Security Act will stop the freedom of expression and asked the government to protect the rights of the people and journalist before finalizing it.
Pen International Bangladesh yesterday organized the roundtable on “Proposed Digital Security Law: Further Thoughts” at the National Press Club.
The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam said: “Rumour spreads in the absence of reliable information and it can be curbed with the spread of free media."
"The draft digital act will work as a bureaucratic process and will stop the freedom of expression. This draft will not serve the purpose to stop the reckless use of social media and online media. That's why we need to bring a fine balance that will ensure the safety of the social media's freedom of expression and press freedom.”
Anam also mentioned a section of the law that acts as censorship to the freedom of expression and harassment of the innocent people permitting search, seizure and arrest without a warrant.
Pen International Bangladesh chapter Chief Advisor Poet Mohammad Nurul Huda said: “Creative writers may face challenges in many ways as there is a conflict of reality with the creative imagination. That's why the authors must be protected.”
Brotee CEO Sharmeen Murshid said:"The government has a responsibility to protect the freedom of expression for the prosperity of the society. There is a need to develop talent, thoughts through discussion and criticism."
National Press Club President Mohammad Shafiqur Rahman said: “A society fails to advance when freedom of press is reduced.”
Pen Bangladesh Executive President Kazi Rozi, Daily Ittefaq Editor Tasima Hossain, Pen International Bangladesh President Masud Ahmed, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Former President Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul and Pen International Bangladesh Secretary Gerneral Dr Syeda Irene Zaman also spoke at the roundtable, among others.