The government enacted the Digital Security Act 2018 in a bid to bolster its “power” through curbing the freedom of press and freedom of speech in the country, journalist leaders said at a sit-in yesterday.
They termed the act “anti-people” and said such law does not exist in any other country. They also demanded immediate repeal of the act.
Factions of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) jointly arranged the sit-in in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital, according to a press release.
In a symbolic protest against enactment of the law, photojournalists and camerapersons put down their cameras while demonstrators also covered their mouths.
Chairing the sit-in, BFUJ President Ruhul Amin Gazi said the law has created an insecure environment for all citizens, including journalists.
Because of the act, none will be able to write or speak freely, he said, terming the law “undemocratic”.
“The law has been enacted so that nobody can criticise the government,” said former BFUJ president Shawkat Mahmud.
He urged all to unite and wage a movement against the law.
President Abdul Hamid on Monday signed the Digital Security Bill. With his assent, the bill has become a law.
Amid widespread criticism against some of its provisions, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury on October 2 signed the bill passed in parliament on September 19.