Editors sit with ministers to voice concerns over Digital Security Act

The Editors’ Council has met with ministers to discuss concerns over the recently passed Digital Security Act after postponing a protest programme at the request of the Bangladesh government.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 30 Sept 2018, 09:59 AM
Updated : 30 Sept 2018, 09:59 AM

The meeting began at the Secretariat office around 12:30pm on Sunday, where Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Law Minister Anisul Huq and Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar were present.

Prime Minister's Information Affairs Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury and acting Information Secretary Abul Hossain also accompanied them.

The Editors’ Council, along with several media organisations, objected to the numerous sections of the new law that curb the freedom of expression and threaten independent journalism.

Ignoring their protests, the parliament passed the bill on Sep 19.

The council had called a protest programme for Sep 29 stating that the bill brings ‘serious threats to the freedom of expression and media operations’.

Later, the information minister requested the council not to go ahead with the protest plan. Following the request, the council suspended the call and decided to meet with the government leaders.

The media delegation was led by Mahfuz Anam, the editor of The Daily Star and the general secretary of the council. News Today Editor Riaz Uddin Ahmed, Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman, New Age Editor Nurul Kabir, Manab Zamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam, Jugantor Editor Saiful Islam, Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haq Milon, Inqilab’s AMM Bahauddin, Dhaka Tribune’s Zafar Sobhan, Independent’s Shamsur Rahman, Banik Barta’s Hanif Mahmud, Samakal’s Mustafiz Shafi were also present at the meeting.

“The Editors’ Council had expressed its concerns and statements after the announcement of the Digital Security Bill in parliament. This meeting is called to discuss those concerns.” Abul Hossain said at the meeting.

 “We hope to reach a proper solution through the discussion.”

Hossain also pledged to discuss the strategies to solve the problems.

Information Minister Inu said he was scheduled to hold separate meetings with leaders of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists, the Dhaka Union of Journalists and Dhaka Reporters Unity on Sunday afternoon over the same issue.