22 June 2017, Thu, 6:27

Proposed online policy is a tool to suppress online news portals

Secretary General urges to cancel cabinet approved online mass media policy

Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Dr. Shafiqur Rahman has issued the following statement on 22nd June, 2017 protesting the cabinet approved draft of Online Mass Media Policy, 2017 that keeps the provision for registration of every single mass media outlet from proposed national broadcast commission.

“The government has approved the draft of Online Mass Media Policy, 2017 in order to subdue the online news portals. The draft proposes that every single mass media outlet has to be registered under proposed national broadcast commission. This policy will be used to siege the freedom of expression and press freedom. Such a policy is not acceptable to the journalist community and the countrymen as a whole.

Since the incumbent government came into the office, it started confiscating the press freedom. The government, unlawfully and unjustifiably shut down several television and news papers including Daily Amar Desh, Channel One, Diganta TV and Islamic TV. Now they are mulling to close the online news portals. The cabinet approved draft ‘Online Mass Media Policy, 2017’ will be used as a tool of repression by the government. This policy contradicts the spirit of democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression. I am urging the journalist communities, civil societies and democracy loving people to raise voice against the cabinet approved “Online Mass Media Policy’.

Finally I am calling upon the concerned authority to cancel the Online Mass Media Policy, 2017’ immediately even before making it a law as it goes against the people’s basic right to express and press freedom.