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Bangladesh enacts digital law amid widespread protests

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

Bangladesh's on Monday signed a controversial digital security act into law amid widespread protests by journalists and rights groups that it could endanger freedom of speech.

The Digital Security Bill, 2018 was passed by the Parliament to deal with cybercrimes, including hurting the religious sentiment, negative propaganda against the 1971 Liberation War and Bangabandhu (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman), and illegal activities in and spreading defamatory data, Bangla Tribune reported.

has assented to the Digital Security Bill 2018, by enacting it as a law, the report said.

The law has faced vocal opposition from journalists and rights campaigners who say it could curb freedom of speech especially on and would undermine responsible journalism.

The new law provides for a minimum of seven years and a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment, as well as monetary fines of a minimum of Taka 25 lakh and maximum of Taka 1 crore, or both, for illegal access and destruction of any important information related to state affairs, the report said.

The has been opposing the Digital Security Act.

In a recent statement, the council said the Act will "create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, which will make journalism, and especially investigative journalism, virtually impossible."

But Sheikh has defended it, saying that journalists should not be apprehensive if they do not run false or fabricated news, or mislead the people.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, October 08 2018. 16:00 IST
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