Shujan for scrapping Digital Security Act

It could be used to harass citizens, dismantle freedom of expression  

Published: September 22, 2018 19:07:41 | Updated: September 23, 2018 09:51:46

Civil rights body Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) on Saturday demanded revision of the newly passed Digital Security Act through scraping its 'repressive' sections.

In a written statement, the rights body said several sections of the act (8,28,29,31) are regressive which could widely be misused, especially for harassing citizens, squeezing the freedom of expression and obstructing the freedom of media.

The act empowers law enforcers to arrest and search anyone and seize without any warrant or prior approval, it said.

Besides, the inclusion of the colonial-era 'Official Secret Act - 1923' under the act may create a corruption-friendly atmosphere in the country, it added.

"We witnessed that hundreds of people were forcibly arrested in the last six years using the ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) Act which was widely criticised both at home and abroad," it said.

"We think the Digital Security Act goes against the basic rights of citizens which will shrink the democratic space, curb freedom of speech and create a sense of insecurity among citizens," says a UNB report citing the statement.

They urged the President not to sign bill and send it back to parliament for revision.

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