Editors disappointed as ministers not honouring commitment
The Editors Council in a statement on Thursday expressed disappointment over three cabinet ministers not honouring their commitment of amending the Digital Security Bill through discussions with all the stakeholders before making it a law.
The statement recalled the editors’ meeting with the ministers was held at the initiative of information minister Hasanul Huq Inu, who promised to open a new series of discussions which was supported by the law minister and the ICT minister.
At an Editors’ Council meeting held on Thursday they called it a ‘breach of trust’ by the three senior cabinet ministers and the information adviser to the prime minister.
The Editors’ Council announced that they would reiterate the demand for amending the Digital Security Act at a news conference at National Press Club at midday on Saturday, to protect freedom of speech, independent journalism and media institutions from the threat of intervention and arbitrary arrest by the police.
The statement said that the Editors’ Council ‘accepts the need for strengthening cyber security through an appropriate legal framework but opposes sections 8, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 43 and 53 in the Digital Security Act.’
The Editors’ Council demanded amendment of the Digital Security Act in the next session of Parliament and urged the government to avail this ‘good opportunity to respond to the concerns of all journalists and citizens in general who consider the Digital Act as a serious threat to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.’
The statement was jointly sent by Dainik Ittefaq acting editor Tasmima Hossain, News Today founding editor Reazuddin Ahmed, Manabzamin editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman, The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam, New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Bhorer Kagoj editor Shyamal Dutta, Bangladesh Pratidin editor Naem Nizam, Kaler Kantho editor Imdadul Haq Milan, Naya Diganta editor Alamgir Mohiuddin, Dainik Azadi editor MA Malek, Karatoa editor Md. Mozammel Haque, Daily Inqilab editor AMM Bahauddin, The Independent editor M Shamsur Rahman, Sangbad acting editor Khandaker Muniruzzaman, 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.