President signs Digital Security Act, its effective despite controversies
President Abdul Hamid gave his assent to a controversial new law that local media organisations fear could cripple press freedom and curb free speech in the country.
The president’s Press Secretary Jainal Abedin confirmed the matter on Monday,
The 22nd session of the 10th parliament, which was prorogued on September 20, passed a total of 18 bills, including the Digital Security Bill 2018 and Road Transport Bill 2018.
Last week, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury sent the bill to the president for his approval.
Following parliament’s clearance to the bill, the Editors’ Council, the platform of the editors of the daily newspapers in Dhaka, in a joint statement published on 29 September presented their collective arguments why it opposed the Digital Security Act.
The council expressed concern specifically over nine sections of the act -- 8, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32, 43 and 53 -- terming them dangerous for the media and freedom of speech and expression.