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7 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Draft digital security act 2018

Editors for revoking section 32

UNB

Expressing its grave concern over section 32 of the proposed Digital Security Act, Editors’ Council yesterday urged the government to revoke the section and other controversial ones from the law, reports UNB. The council made the call in a statement issued after a meeting held at The Daily Star Centre with its President Golam Sarwar in the chair. The Editors’ Council thinks the provision of the nature of offence and punishment for digital spying will hurt the basic values of democracy and the freedom of expression. “At the same time, it’ll create an atmosphere to suppressing free journalism.”

It said gathering secret information of a government office using electronic devices is defined as digital spying and there is a provision of harsh punishment for it -- highest 14 years’ imprisonment or maximum Tk 25 lakh fine or both. Besides, the issues of defamation, hurting religious sentiments, tarnishing state’s image, destroying communal harmony and deteriorating the law and order of section 57 of the ICT Act have been included in the proposed law without specific explanations, the statement said, adding that in the name of amending this law, these issues have been divided in four sections in the Digital Security Act with provisions of separate punishment.

The editors also called for involving the stakeholders concerned in the process of formulate a new law dissolving an old one. They said sections 54, 55, 56, 57 and 66 of the ICT Act have been kept tactfully in sections 25, 28, 29 and 31 of the proposed police department powerful enough to stop a competitive election in a democracy-less country.

“It seems that the government has fixed the verdict in the BNP chairperson’s case. Acting on baseless fears, the government is bulldozing the opposition, using police force on BNP leaders and activists,” Rizvi claimed. He alleged that over 1,200 BNP leaders and activists have been arrested across the country, including Dhaka, Chittagong, Bogra, Feni, Rangamati, Mymensingh, Dinajpur, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Brahmanbaria and Moulvibazar districts.

Among others, the police arrested BNP joint  secretary Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel, Shahbagh thana Swechasebak Dal unit president Iqbal Hasan, 14 BNP men in Moulvibazar, including Rajnagar upazila BNP general secretary Sundar Box, Bogra Sadar upazila BNP general secretary advocate Mahbubul Alam Shahin, Kahalu upazila BNP senior joint convener Tofazzal Hossain Azad, district Jubo Dal former organizing secretary Amirul Islam, Rangamati zila BNP president Shah Alam, district assistant organising secretary Shahid Chowdhury, publicity secretary Abul Hossain, Jubo Dal president Syful Islam Shakil, general secretary Ilias, Bashkhali poura Swechasebak Dal general secretary Abdullah Al Mobin, Koshba upazila’s Kharora UP BNP general secretary Mizanur Rahman, ward BNP president Abu Hanif and Pabna  Swechasebak Dal president Monwar Hossain Shamim.

The DMP has imposed a ban on processions and carrying of sharp weapons, explosives, flammable materials under sections 28 and 29 of the DMP Ordinance. In a statement, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah,  said they have gathered information from detective branch inputs, print, electronic and social media reports that a section of people may create anarchy centering around a verdict of a certain case.

“It is essential to ensure discipline, peace and public safety in DMP areas. The ban will begin on Thursday morning at 4:00am and will continue until further orders,” he said in the statement.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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