RSF criticises Bangladesh's ICT Act

RSF criticises Bangladesh’s ICT Act

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Dhaka, April 25 – Criticising the Information and Communication Technology Act of Bangladesh, Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) has said growing media self-censorship is the result of endemic violence against journalists and media outlets in the country.
RSF, also known as Reporters without Borders, released its annual World Press Freedom Index 2018 on Wednesday. The media rights group said that journalists and bloggers who resist censorship or self-censorship risk life imprisonment or the death penalty, while Islamist militants often issue online calls for the murder of outspoken secularist bloggers and writers.
“In 2017, at least 25 journalists and several hundred bloggers and Facebook users were prosecuted under the Information and Communication Technology Act, which penalizes online content that is regarded as defamatory or blasphemous,” the report said.
However, in the Index, Bangladesh’s position remains static at 146th place like previous year with 48.62 points.
Norway (7.63) has topped the list with North Korea (88.87) at the bottom of the list of 180 countries of the world.
The media organisation also said, “Instead of amending this law, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government proposed a new digital security law in early 2018 with vaguely-worded provisions that would allow the authorities to clamp down even more on dissent.”
Ranked 137th, Myanmar (43.15) is in better position than Bangladesh, the report said.
Taking same points (43.24) Bangladesh’s two other South Asian neighbours, India and Pakistan are placed at 138th and 139th positions respectively. -UNB

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