Secretary General raises voice to stop the misuse of controversial ‘Digital Security Act’
Secretary General of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and former member of the Parliament Professor Mia Golam Porwar has issued the following statement on 9 July 2020 urging to stop the misuse of ‘Digital Security Act’ and also to stop the ongoing arrest and harassment of the people using this act.
“Law and acts are being enacted for the betterment of the people. The constitution is the highest law of the country. The constitution of Bangladesh guarantees absolute freedom of expression. But since the controversial ‘Digital Security Act’ came into effect in 2018, it becomes obvious that, the act has been enacted to curb the freedom of expression and public voices. The journalists, doctors, university teachers and even teenagers of 15 years are not being spared from the misuse of this act.
According to the international human rights watchdog Article 39, some 71 cases were filed in 2018 and 63 cases in 2019 under this act. Since 1st March of this year, around 50 cases have been lodged and more than 200 people have been arrested under this act.
To the latest, on 27th June, new cases under this act have been filed against the editor of Bengali daily ‘Inqilab’, Mr. Bahauddin and several other journalists. 37 journalists have been arrested in last couple of months under this act.
The experts think that, this act has been enacted to harass the critics of the government so that the ministers, MPs and the ruling party looters can continue their corruption and irregularities uninterruptedly. To be more specific, the government is using this act to conceal their corruptions.
New York based human rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has termed this controversial act as discriminatory and oppressive. HRW further says, the authority of Bangladesh has enacted the law to harass and detain the critics, journalists and others. HRW also recommends to bring necessary amendment to the act or to repeal the whole act immediately.
In this backdrop, I am urging the concerned authority to stop the misuse of this harassing, oppressive and discriminatory act immediately. At the same time, I am calling upon the concerned authority to withdraw all the cases, filed under this act.