Government Policy

Keep civil society, media people in DSA amendment process: TIB

Welcoming the remarks of Law Minister Anisul Huq over the amendment to the Digital Security Act (DSA), Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Friday demanded incorporation of the representatives from media and civil society in the committee formed to review and amend the law.

“Though Law Minister Anisul Huq admitted the misuse of the Digital Security Act in delay, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) is cautiously welcoming his statement,” said a press release.

In order to effectively execute this statement, TIB also demanded inclusion of the representatives of media and civil society in the committee formed to review whether the law is conflicting with the human rights for any amendment.

The international graft watchdog body also demanded that not only journalists, but also the common people of the country should not be arrested immediately after the filing of cases under the DSA with a view to ensuring the equal application of the law for all.

Referring to media reports, the TIB said the Law Minister admitted the misuse and abuse of the DSA and mentioned the government’s initiative for ensuring its best use by following the best practices in the world.

TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said the government’s good sense appeared with the Law Minister’s statement made for the amendment to the law by reviewing its sections which undermine the freedom of dissidents and freedom of expression.

“From the very beginning of the enactment of the Digital Security Act, the media men and social society objected several sections of the Act, especially sections 25 and 31, and feared that it would be a tool for undermining the freedom of thought and expression, but the government did not pay heed to it,” he said.

The Law Minister’s previous promise to check its misuse was not reflected in practice, and in a short time the law became an “effective tool for the ruling class and the government administration for suppressing dissents and creating intimidation”, said the TIB Executive Director.

“In such a reality, it’s important to ensure the representation of all stakeholders, especially the media and civil society, in the committee formed to prevent any misuse of the law. Otherwise, the fear can’t be ruled out that the new initiative would be a futile exercise,” he said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh