Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu said on Saturday that editors’ concern over the Digital Security Act would be placed before the cabinet soon while law minister Anisul Huq said that time was still there to keep his words.
Talking to New Age, they denied the allegation the Editors’ Council made on Saturday that the ministers failed to keep their promise to place the editors’ concern before the cabinet.
Posts, telecommunications and ICT minister Mustafa Jabbar in his reaction to the editors’ allegation said that he made no promise rather the law minister made such promise.
Editors’ Council at a press conference expressed surprise that nothing was done in spite of public commitment by three ministers and media adviser to the prime minister to raise their concerns to the cabinet and open a dialogue with the stakeholders to work out acceptable changes in the Digital Security Act.
‘Regrettably, no such efforts were made, nor were we extended the courtesy of being informed by any of the ministers as to why they failed to keep their promise,’ Bangla daily Bhorer Kagoj editor Shyamal Dutta said while reading out the council’s written statement at the conference.
After a meeting with Editors’ Council at secretariat on September 30, Anisul Huq and Hasanul Haq Inu, in presence of Mostafa Jabbar, prime minister’s media adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, assured that they would place the editor concerns before the cabinet.
Law minister on September 30 said they would again sit with the editors after discussion in cabinet to address the concerns through dialogues.
The government arranged the meetings as the Editor’s Council called a human chain protesting at the digital security bill on September 29. Editors’ Council postponed the human chain, accepting the information minister’s request for talks.
‘I do not know what they [Editors’ Council] have told the press conference. But I want to say that time is still there to keep the words,’ Anisul said.
Hasanul Haq Inu said that he did not contacted with Editors’ Council as their concerns were yet to be placed before cabinet.
‘I will contact with them soon,’ he said, adding that they had informed prime minister Sheikh Hasina about the concerns expressed by journalists, including newspaper editors.
‘We could not place the concerns at the past cabinet meeting as there were too many agenda. We will try to place it soon,’ he said.
‘I did not make any promise. Rather law minister made the promise. We were standing beside him,’ said Mustafa Jabbar, who had piloted the bill amidst concerns among journalists and rights activists.
The bill was passed on September 19 and president Abdul Hamid assented to it transforming it into an act on October 8.
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