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  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Case against editors: ARTICLE 19 calls for immediate withdrawal

  • Published at 01:41 pm April 22nd, 2020
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The editors have been sued under Digital Security Act, 2018 over follow-up reports on corruption around relief distribution

ARTICLE 19 raised concern over a case  filed against four journalists, including Toufique Imrose Khalidi, editor-in-chief of Bdnews24.com and Mohiuddin Sarker, the acting editor of Jago News.

The editors have been sued under Digital Security Act, 2018 over follow-up reports on corruption around  relief distribution, said a press release issued on Wednesday.

ARTICLE 19, a UK based International Human Rights Organization that works for Freedom of Expression (FoE) and Freedom of Information  calls for not taking any further steps on this case  and demands immediate withdrawal of the case.

Faruq Faisel, regional director of ARTICLE 19 Bangladesh and South Asia, in a statement, said: “This is a new addition to the continuity of the cases filed against journalists and freedom of expression defenders by abusing the controversial Sections of the Digital Security Act, 2018.

“The case is filed in such a crucial moment when the journalists are informing about  random corruptions happening everyday during relief distribution in the remote areas of Bangladesh. Based on these information, the government administration is taking actions and precautions to stop the corruption. From that point of view, this case put the grassroots-level journalists into high risks while performing their professional responsibilities.”

ARTICLE 19 learnt from media reports that on April 17, Mominul Islam Bhasani, the president of Thakurgaon's Baliadangi upazila Swechhasebak League, filed this case at Baliadangi police station with a complaint for publishing offensive, false, and defamatory news about himself as well as against overall Bangladesh Awami League.

The charges have been brought under Sections 25, 29, and 31 of the Digital Security Act, 2018. Shawan Amin and Rahim Shuvo are two more accused in the case apart from Toufique Imrose Khalidi and Mohiuddin Sarker.

ARTICLE 19 has been raising its concern in different occasions about the Digital Security Act, 2018 being abused as a prime obstacle in Bangladesh for freedom of expression and for establishing free mass media.

ARTICLE 19 demands again for appropriate review of the Act to make it compatible with the International Human Rights Law and standard.

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