Law Minister Anisul Huq has said any change or amendment to the Digital Security Act will become apparent ‘in a few days’ amid the clamour for the repeal of the controversial law following the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail.
Anisul was speaking to reporters at the Akhaura Railway Junction on Friday when he was asked about the government’s plans regarding the legislation in the wake of Mushtaq’s death.
“You’ll get to see it in a few days,” he replied, reports bdnews24.com.
Earlier on Mar 1, BBC broadcasted a report in which the law minister was quoted as saying: “a new measure has been planned to ensure that no one will be arrested or named in a case until the police investigation is completed after a complaint is made under the act."
Besides the civil society in Bangladesh, international human rights organisations have also raised objections against the Digital Security Act.
Parliament passed the act in September, 2018 by dropping the much-criticised Section 57 of the ICT Act and some other parts. Nevertheless, concerns over the possible misuse of the law remained.
But now many people are pointing to Mushtaq's death in pre-trial detention as ‘proof’ that their fears were justified.
The Rapid Action Battalion arrested Mushtaq at his Lalmatia home on May 6 last year amid the coronavirus crisis. Afterwards, he was charged with propagating disinformation against the government on social media under the Digital Security Act.
The judge rejected several bail petitions of Mushtaq, while activists demonstrated on several occasions demanding his release.
The 53-year-old died at Kashimpur High Security Prison in Gazipur on Feb 25.
“All laws go through a trial and error process after they are introduced. We’re taking necessary measures to prevent it in case there’s an abuse or misuse of the law,” the BBC quoted Anisul as saying.