21 June 2023, Wed, 12:56

Rally held to ensure press freedom and the cancellation of Digital Security Act

Torture against journalists to be stopped; Digital Security Act must be annulled

- Maulana ATM Masum

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s Acting Secretary General Maulana ATM Masum said torture against journalists to be stopped and the controversial Digital Security Act must be annulled. All incidents of torture and murder against journalists must be tried. The state has some important organs to form the nation. If these apparatuses remain perfect, the nation can function properly. The role of parliament has been weakened. The Executive is busy in destroying public interest instead of protecting it. The law enforcers also took stand against the people.

He said this while addressing a program organized by Dhaka south city Jamaat to press the demand for ensuring press freedom, journalist’s security and the cancellation of Digital Security Act. Central Executive Committee member and Dhaka south city Ameer Nurul Islam Bulbul presided over the program, which was hosted by city Secretary and Jamaat’s central working committee member Dr. Shafiqul Islam Masud. Jamaat’s Assistant Secretary General and former MP AHM Hamidur Rahman Azad, and central executive committee member Mobarak Hossain addressed the program as the special guests. Among others, central Majlish-e-Shura member and Dhaka south city Nayeb-e-Ameer Advocate Dr. Helal Uddin, central working committee member and Dhaka north city secretary Dr. Rezaul Karim, Dhaka south city Jamaat’s Assistant Secretary Kamal Hossain, labourer leader Abdus Salam, Dhaka Bar Association’s former Senior Vice President Advocate S M Kamal Uddin, Dhaka Union of Journalist President Shahidul Islam and Dhaka south city’s Majlish-e-Shura member Ashraful Alam Emon were present on the occasion.

Maulana ATM Masum said, bribery, looting and corruption have engulfed all sectors of the administration. No nation can move strongly under such context. Judiciary has become weaker. Opposition leaders and activists are being harassed randomly. The government has launched a one-party rule. Despite the no arrest no harassment directives of the high court, the detainees are being re-arrested for multiple occasions. All detained leaders including Jamaat Ameer Dr. Shafiqur Rahman and Secretary General Mia Golam Porwar must be released.

Press and media is being regarded as the 4th pillar of a democratic nation. The government has closed several media including Islamic TV, Diganta TV, Channel One, Daily Amar Desh and Daily Dinkal. The deadline for framing charges in the case of journalist couple Sagar-Runi murders has deferred for 98 times. Citizens are not secured. A reign of terror and panic is prevailing everywhere.

Hamidur Rahman Azad said, on 16th June of 1975, Awami League shut down all newspapers except just 4 party-backed newspapers. They also had launched a one-party Bakshal rule as they found that people are not interested to see them in office anymore. Bakshal rule means torturing people, subduing the critics and so on. The incumbent government is following the same strategies. But history confirms that no autocratic and tyrannical government could sustain and this government will not be able to sustain as well.

He further stated that the present government has passed Digital Security Act in the parliament in 2018. Initially, it was said that act was passed to preserve the public interest. But practically it has been enacted to harass the people. Even normal people are being tortured just for posting a status in the facebook. The journalists remain in fear because of this black law. Digital Security Act must be annulled as it puts the journalist into life threat.

Mobarak Hossain said, Awami League has established Bakshal unofficially. Voting rights have been seized. People have no freedom of speech and social security. Coming to the office, Awami League has closed several newspapers and media platform. 234 online news portal and several media including Islamic TV, Diganta TV, Channel One, Daily Amar Desh and Daily Dinkal have been shut down. 51 journalists have been killed so far during the current tenure. Bangladesh is randomly and alarmingly going downwards in the global press freedom and media index.

Nurul Islam Bulbul said, the authority has destroyed the press freedom through the Digital Security Act. More than 1200 cases have been filed in last couple of year under this infamous act. Journalists are managing their professional duties amid high risk. Torture against journalist must be stopped. Last 10th June’s rally of Jamaat-e-Islami created a new vibe in the society. The rally demonstrated that people like Jamaat-e-Islami so much. No election will be allowed without a caretaker government. The movement to press 10-point demands are going on and ultimately this fascist government will be dethroned and a pro-people government will be established.