President Abdul Hamid has assented to the much-talked- about Digital Security Bill passed in the 22nd session of the current parliament, making it a law.
President’s Press Secretary Joynal Abedin on Monday confirmed UNB that the President signed the Bill into law.
The 22nd session of the 10th parliament, which was prorogued on September 20, passed a total of 18 bills, including the Digital Security Bill 2018 and Road Transport Bill 2018.
Amid concerns from different quarters, the ‘Digital Security Bill, 2018′ was passed in Parliament on September 19 to deal with cybercrimes, including hurting the religious sentiment, negative propaganda against the Liberation War and Bangabandhu, and illegal activities in e-transactions and spreading defamatory data.
Voicing its deep regret at the passage of the Digital Security Bill 2018, which it considers to be used against the freedom guaranteed by the constitution, media freedom and freedom of speech, the Editors’ Council at a meeting on September 22 decided to stage a human chain on September 29 in front of the Jatiya Press Club.
Urging the Editors’ Council to postpone its human-chain programme, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu invited the editors to sit with him and others.
After a meeting with the Editors’ Council on September 30 Law Minister Anisul Huq said Editors’ Council’s objections to nine sections of the ‘Digital Security Bill’ and its demand for amending those would be placed before the Cabinet for discussions.
Besides, BNP urged the people from all walks of life to put up a strong resistance against the Digital Security Bill, 2018 terming it a dangerous ‘black’ law.
Hours after the disclosure that President Abdul Hamid signed the Digital Security Bill, BNP on Monday announced not to accept such a ‘black’ law.
“We don’t accept today’s law (Digital Security Law). In fact, we don’t accept any law of this government as those were passed in a parliament which has no legitimacy,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
However, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina defended the law saying that there is nothing to be worried about the Digital Security Bill 2018 as it would not gag the voice of the journalist community.
“I’ve seen several noted editors, journalists and wise persons of society giving their opinions against it. They’re only concerned about whether their voice is gagged. But their voice has not been gagged,” she said while delivering the valedictory speech of the 22nd session of the 10th parliament on September 20.
Addressing a press conference on October 1, the Prime Minister said the journalists who do not provide false news need not to be worried over the upcoming law.