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Editors' Council concerned over digital act

Staff Reporter |
Inserted: 18:46, Thursday 19 April 2018 || Updated: 20:07, Saturday 21 April 2018

Editors' Council concerned over digital act - National
Editors' Council General Secretary Mahfuz Anam, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar, and State minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak brief media at the secretariat in Dhaka on April 19, 2018 after a meeting on Digital Security Act

Dhaka: Terming some provisions of the proposed Digital Security Act contrary to the media freedom in the country, Editors' Council has demanded amendment to them.

The leaders of the council, an organisation of the editors of the newspapers, expressed their concern over the issue at a meeting with law minister Anisul Huq, post, telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) minister Mosfata Jabbar and state minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed at the Secretariat on Thursday.

The law minister acknowledged that the issues raised by the editors are logical.

However, he pointed out, the matters are being dealt with by the relevant parliamentary standing committee which is set to sit for its next meeting on April 22.

The Digital Security Bill was recently placed in parliament and it would turn into a law once it is passed after scrutiny by the parliamentary committee.

Anisul Huq said he would raise the points made by the Editors' Council at the standing committee meeting and recommend that a representative of the council be invited to the subsequent meeting for submitting the editors' proposals in writing.

"The Digital Security Act is being formulated in order to control cyber crimes, not to curtain the freedom of expression. If there are any anomalies in such a context, the committee will discuss them,” the law minister told newsmen after the meeting.

The council's secretary, The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam, said sections 21, 25, 28, 31, 32 and 43 of the proposed act would limit the freedom of speech, reports agency.

“Independent journalism that we are proud of will be seriously hampered if such an act is made. The ministers have accepted our propositions,” he said.

The council leader expressed hope that the act that would ultimately be passed by parliament would not curtail the freedom exercised by the newsmen.

The News Today editor Reaz Uddin Ahmed, Naya Diganta's Alamgir Mahiuddin, Prothom Alo's Matiur Rahman, acting editor of Sangbad Khandker Moniruzzaman, Kaler Kantha editor Imdadul Haque Milon, Bangladesh Protidin's Nayeem Nizam, acting editor of Jugantor Saiful Islam, The Financial Express editor Moazzem Hossain, New Age editor Nurul Kabir, Inquilab editor AMM Bahauddin and Banik Barta's Dewan Mohammad Hanif were also present on the occasion.

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