Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Wednesday urged the government to review some sections of the proposed Digital Security Act 2018 and repeal Section 57 of the ICT Act.
It said such actions are needed for ensuring the constitutional right to express views by the people and mass media activists.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman made the statement on the eve of World Free Press Day to be observed in Bangladesh and all over the world on May 3.
He urged to review Sections 8, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 43 and 58 so that media workers can enjoy their constitutional right.
Mentioning the proposed Digital Security Act as contradictory to the constitutional right of freedom to express and the ideology of the Liberation War, he said it will create greater risk of insecurity not only for expressing opinion freely but also for practicing the basic human rights of both the media workers and the general populace if the act comes into effect without proper reviews.
Section 57 has already created fear among the social media users and mainstream media activists resulting in self-censorship, which is an obstacle to the people's right to express, he said.
"Revealing information of different irregularities and corruption will become impossible while such corruption will spread wider because of the act", said the executive director.
Urging the government to discuss the draft act with the stakeholders of the media, he said it is disappointing that the act was presented in the parliament without any amendment, though there are grave concerns over some of the sections.
"Intellectual society, mass people and mass media as well as government have significant roles to play in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals", said Dr iftekharuzzaman, adding that a proper environment must be ensured so that all people including mass media can play their role as source of support for the government through practicing their right to express without feeling any insecurity.
“The parliamentary committee must play positive and active role in reviewing and amending the Digital Security Act,” he added.