This law will hurt the media, democracy and freedom of expression. Citizens and the media will be victimised. Fundamental rights will be curtailed. A sense of fear will grow among people. And the rights guaranteed by the constitution will be curbed. We are moving towards a bad time.
ACTING EDITOR OF THE DAILY SANGBAD
The act goes against the spirit of the Liberation War. Independent journalism will be under threat in the coming days. We thought the government would accept our [Sampadak Parishad’s] suggestions for the sake of independent journalism, freedom of expression and free thinking, but it did not.
EDITOR OF BANGLADESH PRATIDIN
Due to the inclusion of Official Secrets Act provisions, this law will not only curb freedom of expression but also undermine the objectives of the Right to Information Act. It will increase the fear created by Section 57. As a result, people will go into further self-censorship.
SC LAWYER WORKING ON HUMAN RIGHTS
There is a need for a law to check digital crimes. We feel digital media has to have freedom. However, sometimes we see abuse of press freedom. I hope the law would only be used against digital crimes and would not infringe on freedom of expression.
IQBAL SOHBAN CHOWDHURY
EDITOR OF THE DAILY OBSERVER
It is very regrettable and we are shocked. The concerns expressed by the Sampadak Parishad (Editors’ Council) were not addressed. With regard to the act, we stick to our previous stance. We will decide on the next course of action at a meeting of the Editors’ Council.
EDITOR OF BHORER KAGOJ
It’s a sad day for freedom of expression and independent journalism and as such for democracy. This law is incongruent with the intellectual environment of digital age. The growth of digital Bangladesh will be stifled by this Digital Security Act.
GENERAL SECRETARY OF
SAMPADAK PARISHAD AND EDITOR
AND PUBLISHER OF THE DAILY STAR
We are saddened and aggrieved. The government hurriedly passed the law, totally ignoring the opinions of Sampadak Parishad, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and Association of Television Channel Owners. … We fear that independent journalism and freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution will be curbed.
SYED ISHTIAQUE REZA, VICE PRESIDENT
OF BFUJ AND EDITOR IN CHIEF OF GAZI TV
We’ve raised our objections [to the law] with reasons. Yet if our voice remains unheard and a law is passed without taking into consideration people’s opinion, they are not passing the law as the people’s representatives … This is not the norms of parliamentary democracy.
SULTANA KAMAL, RIGHTS ACTIVIST
Human rights must be pre-eminent and should be the topmost priority. Human rights mean the highest welfare of the citizens. Therefore, the security of the state means the security of its citizens. So whatever curbs people’s freedom of thought in the name of state security cannot be acceptable.
PROF MIZANUR RAHMAN
FORMER CHAIRMAN OF NHRC
There were concerns about the draft Digital Security Act. However, those were not taken into consideration while passing the bill. This reflects authoritarian rule and the mentality of bypassing public opinion…
NUR KHAN LITON
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
We had registered our reservations about the act, and most of our points have been addressed. This act will not curb the journalists’ right to get information. It has been formulated to check the anarchy on the digital platform.
senior vice-president of ATCO
There is a necessity for the act, but there are chances of misuse of certain sections of the law, which may disrupt the free flow of information. We have observed misuse of Section 57 of the ICT Act by the law enforcers.
former chief information commissioner