'An attempt to annihilate media'
BNP yesterday alleged that the government is going to formulate the broadcast law after passage of the Digital Security Act, to completely annihilate the media and to silence people.
“It's another dangerous black law to eliminate media and silence people,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office, he called upon the country's people to be vocal against the proposed bill, and put up a strong resistance against all “black laws” formulated by the current government.
On Monday, the cabinet approved on principle the draft Broadcast Bill 2018 with a provision to form a seven-member Broadcast Commission to provide licences to broadcast media, including online ones, and to bring those under discipline.
Under the bill, if anyone broadcasts false or confusing information in a discussion programme or anything against the spirit and principles of the Liberation War or against the state policy, he or she will face a maximum jail term of three years or a fine of Tk 5 crore, or both.
Opposing the bill, Rizvi said, “We think the government is making the dangerous law to stop airing news on its irregularities and corruption ahead of the election.”
He alleged that the government has been making 'hazardous black laws' one after another to gag media and hide its corruption and misdeeds.
The BNP leader expressed concerns that owners will be forced to shut down their media outlets the way government is formulating repressive laws. “People will now turn mute as they won't dare speak up due to the black laws.”
He called upon people of all walks of life and professions to wage a strong movement to “restore” press freedom, freedom of expression and democracy.
Rizvi alleged that the government imposed a “serious misrule” as it has become isolated from people, and said the government is pushing the country “200 years back” by formulating such laws.