Govt asked to consult stakeholders on Digital Security Act

Govt asked to consult all stakeholders on Digital Security Act

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Dhaka, May 5 – Talking to the journalists is not be enough rather, government needs to talk to all stakeholders about the concerns raised over the proposed Digital Security Act, a right activist said on Saturday.
Addressing a city dialogue, advocate Sara Hossain observed that government’s talking with journalists is not the only solution to problem, the government should rather talk with other groups on the proposed act. She referred to Section 57 of ICT Act to say that many students, teachers, online activists, general people became victims of the misuse of the Section.
Digital Security Act is not only an issue for the journalists, it is for each and every people because according to the experience of Section 57 of ICT Act, people of all strata suffered and still are suffering for its misuse, she explained.
Committee for the Protection of Fundamental Rights (CPFR) organized the dialogue on ‘Fundamental Rights and Digital Security Act – 2018’ at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU).
In future, if the act is passed without any amendment, it will be misused and make people suffer like it happened in the case of Section 57, she feared.
She said the law minister has acknowledged that many had suffered and were still suffering for the misuse of Section 57. Advocate Sara raised the question that what will be the compensation for those victims.
Advocate Dr. Shahdeen Malik, while addressing the programme, said the act included ‘Offending the Ideology of Independence and Liberation War’ as criminal offence but has not properly described it thereby leaving the scope for deliberate misuse.
He also noted that this act have replaced several offences which have already been there in Penal Code where the range of punishment are currently lower than suggested in the Digital Security Act.
He termed the act as a move to ‘stop people from practicing their freedom of expression’.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua said according to the Commonwealth tradition, proper description of offences and punishments have to be written in forming any criminal case law, but “here (in digital security act) there are several ambiguities, which have chances to be misused.”  -UNB

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