• Sunday, Aug 09, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:17 am

Diaspora Bangladeshis express concerns about Digital Security Act

  • Published at 10:19 pm October 6th, 2018
Representational photo

The statement read: 'This act will further stifle any remaining scope for free speech that Bangladesh had left, since we view this act as a mere repackaging of the notorious Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act 2013.'

The Bangladeshi diaspora has made a collective appeal over the Digital Security Act 2018 passed by the Bangladesh parliament on September 19, 2018.

They made the appeal in a press release issued on Friday.

The statement read: “This act will further stifle any remaining scope for free speech that Bangladesh had left, since we view this act as a mere repackaging of the notorious Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act 2013.”

Expressing concerns about the act, the press release further read: “The official secrets act provision of the new act may define investigative journalism on government activities as acts of espionage- a crime punishable with 14 years of rigorous imprisonment. 

“The most egregious provision of the act is that it will allow the police to arrest anyone on mere suspicion, often on non-bailable charges, without any court-issued warrant or any independent oversight prior to arrest.”

It mentioned that various organizations, including the Editors Council of Bangladesh, an umbrella organization of newspaper editors in Bangladesh, have expressed concerns and urged the government to revise several provisions. 

The press release also quoted an Amnesty International statement saying: "This law imposes dangerous restrictions on freedom of expression...Given how the authorities have arbitrarily arrested hundreds of people in the past six years under the Information and Communication Technology Act, there are serious concerns that the new Act will be used against people who speak out."

Members of the Bangladeshi diaspora also expressed concerns that this Digital Security Act has been passed at a time, on the eve of the General Election-when an environment of tolerance and coexistence is paramount.

“The Act will not only affect the press but also academic work, exchanges in social media involving policy critiquing and historical scrutiny regarding the politics of Bangladesh, with far-reaching impact on researchers inside and outside of Bangladesh,” it read.

The Digital Security Act 2018 contains provisions for up to 14 years imprisonment and fines up to 1 crore Taka for a wide variety of digital/ internet-based or social media activities that might be perceived by the state as hurting one’s religious sentiments, subversive to the state, defamatory to anyone, or disrespectful to the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh and the spirit of the 1971 liberation war.

Bangladeshis and Bangladeshi-origin members of the global Bangladeshi diaspora, such as Professor Ali Riaz, Distinguished Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Illinois State University, USA, and Professor Zillur Rahman Khan, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Wisconsin, USA, signed the press release.

67
63
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail