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Law Minister: Government to amend Digital Security Act

  • Published at 04:02 pm March 2nd, 2021
Law Minister Anisul Huq
File photo of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq Dhaka Tribune

The controversial Digital Security Act once again came under fire following writer Mushtaq Ahmed's death in jail, after he was detained under the law

Following the uproar over writer Mushtaq Ahmed’s death in detention, the government is planning to take measures so that no one can be arrested under the Digital Security Act, 2018 until police investigate the allegations first.

"Police cannot lodge a case [under the Digital Security Act] right away. If there are any allegations, police will investigate first and accept the case accordingly," Law Minister Anisul Huq told BBC Bangla on Tuesday.

The controversial law came under fire yet again after writer Mushtaq Ahmed, who was arrested under the act, died in Kashimpur jail in Gazipur on February 25.

Asked about the ongoing misuse of law, the law minister said they were taking measures to prevent it.

When asked about the bail petitions denied for DSA cases, Anisul told BBC Bangla: "We have made a provision [in the law] on bail by following the principle that is being followed internationally, even in the subcontinent. 

Also Read - Mushtaq’s death: Civil society condemns police crackdown on peaceful protests

"When all the laws are made, it goes through trial and error," the minister further added. "We are taking measures on how to stop abuse and misuse of the law's provisions, if there is any."

The minister further said that they were in talks with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in this regard.

"I am discussing it with the UN Human Rights Council. We are comparing the law with (similar laws in) the rest of the world. We are working on how to develop a check and balance system to prevent any misuse or abuse, and how that can be incorporated within this law," the law minister said.

The comments came from the law minister a day after a number of activists of the left-leaning student organizations in Bangladesh took positions on the street near the secretariat and staged demonstrations after being barred from marching forward and laying siege to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

During the demonstrations, they also demanded the release of cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and their arrested fellows as well as the abolition of the Digital Security Act (DSA).

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