The Dark Cloud over Freedom in Bangladesh: The Digital Security Act 2018

Freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press are inconvertible parts of human rights and democracy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Bangladesh's constitution has guaranteed these freedoms under Articles 39(1), 39(2), 39(a), 39(b). However, the Digital Security Act 2018 has rampantly been used to muzzle journalists and citizens who have raised concerns about the mismanagement of the government.

The Digital Security Act was passed by the Bangladesh Parliament in 2018 after 5 controversial sections of the Information and Communication Technology Act/ ICT Act were eliminated. Since the DSA Act-2018 came into force, journalists, social and human activists, educators, members of civil society, diplomats, and various international organizations strongly objected to nine sections of the law, which they described as detrimental to freedom of speech; these Sections are 8, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 43 and 53.

Centre for Governance Studies (CGS), is committed to promoting democratic value, good governance, freedom of speech and expressions, and fundamental civil rights. The Centre for Governance Studies (CGS) with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), has taken the initiative to document the cases filed under the DSA 2018 since January 1, 2020Dr. Ali Riaz, Distinguished Professor of Illinois State University, USA is leading the research team. 


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  • 23 Apr 2021, 02:09 PM