Editors' Council has expressed its disappointment as the government was yet to make any amendment to the Digital Security Act, 2018 even after holding dialogue with them.
The council, a platform of newspaper editors in the country, in a meeting held at The Daily Star Centre on Monday also urged all the political parties participating in the upcoming general election to incorporate a pledge to amend the Act in their respective election manifestos.
It also noted with concern that the Act was being used against media persons before the framing of rules that were supposed to govern its use.
‘We earnestly urge that such abuse of the law be immediately stopped and the legal provision be strictly followed in defamation cases,’ the statement reads.
The council also expressed serious concern at the widespread use of defamation cases against editors and other journalists to harass them and prevent them from performing their journalistic functions.
News Today founding editor Reazuddin Ahmed chaired the meeting while Manabzamin editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman, The Daily Star editor and publisher Mahfuz Anam, Bangladesh Pratidin editor Naem Nizam, Naya Diganta editor Alamgir Mohiuddin, Dainik Azadi editor MA Malek, Karatoa editor Md Mozammel Haque, The Independent editor M Shamsur Rahman, Jugantor acting editor Saiful Alam, Bonik Barta editor Dewan Hanif Mahmud, Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan, The Financial Express acting editor Shahiduzzaman Khan and Samakal acting editor Mustafiz Shafi signed the statement.
The parliament on September 19 passed the much-debated Digital Security Bill ignoring concerns of journalists and rights defenders and keeping a harsh provision that allowed police officials to search or arrest anyone without a warrant.
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