Govt using Digital Security Act to cling to power: BNP

Staff Correspondent

15 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alleged that the current Awami League government is using the Digital Security Act as weapon to cling to power.

“The nation's voice is silenced now in fear of facing cases under the Digital Security Act. They (incumbent government) have made the law to cling to power. We think the law should be revoked immediately and the freedom of expression should be ensured,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a virtual press conference from his Uttara residence in the capital on Friday.

Reiterating the party’s demand for annulment of the act, Mirza Fakhrul said since formation of the act, the BNP has been saying that this law is ‘unconstitutional’ and a tool of the government to ‘suppress’ the voice of the country’s people.

The BNP secretary general alleged around 153 people were ‘harassed’ by filing cases against them under the Digital Security Act from January to June 2020.

“If you analyse the allegations of the cases, you’ll see that those were filed for raising voice against the ruling party plunderers, expressing political views and criticising the government,” he said.

Fakhrul also alleged that action is being taken against the journalists or those who unveiled any information about corruption and unscrupulous acts of the ruling party men and either in social media or print media.

Referring to the statistics of different rights bodies, he said a total of 108 cases were filed against 204 people under the act as of June 22 this year. Of them, 44 are journalists and 160 are other professionals and ordinary people.

Besides, 63 cases were filed under the Digital Security Act in 2019 while 71 ones in 2018, he added.

Mirza Fakhrul said if BNP returns to power, through fair election, will abolish all the laws that curtail people’s rights, freedom of speech and thoughts.