In the last few months, about 40 journalists have been charged and arrested under the DSA
To say that the Digital Security Act has been misused since its inception would be an understatement. While its original intent may have been to protect Bangladesh’s digital spaces, it has been proven instead to be little more than a draconian law that, through its misinterpretation, threatens freedom of speech and expression.
This sentiment was echoed by Sampadak Parishad, who expressed particular concern about how the DSA was being weaponized to particularly attack journalists during the current pandemic situation.
What is particularly egregious about the law is that it allows law enforcement to arrest any suspect without any warrant, and often without adequate evidence.
It is extremely concerning that, in the last few months, about 40 journalists have been charged and arrested under the DSA. It is extremely worrisome that, during a time when the public requires unbiased, fact-checked news and information more than ever, the DSA is curtailing this flow of information.
Not to mention, journalists are just trying to do their job, risking their lives often in order to better inform the general public during a time when misinformation is at an all-time high. For them to, rather than be rewarded, be charged and punished for telling the truth and attempting to keep the public well-informed is a gross misrepresentation of what a democracy should look like.
There is an immediate need to re-evaluate just what the DSA stands for; is it indeed to stop actual threats and cyber-crimes, or is it simply a weapon used for intimidating any and all who dare to have a critical, unbiased point of view about the current situation in the country?