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Monday, September 7, 2020 11:28:01 PM
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Journalist cannot enjoy freedom if people do not

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BANGLADESH, it lags behind in terms of freedom of expression and security of journalists in South Asia. Government's various restrictions often have crossed the ambit of reasonableness as its colonial mindset of powers, resulting in vulnerability in nourishing the culture of democracy, said Article 19, a UK-based human rights body.
Mentionable, eleven individuals, including a cartoonist, two journalists and a writer, have been held accountable under the controversial Digital Security Act 2018. The charges against them were mostly for criticizing the current ruling political party leaders in different mediums. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Union, the United States, the Amnesty International (AI) and different journalists unions have all criticised the act for violating Bangladesh's international law.
Media report in a national daily on Monday said, Bangladesh Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson Nasima Begum at a joint virtual meeting with the Article 19 rights body said no one has been given power to take away one's freedom of expression. The right to express one's opinion is a universal right but freedom of expression does not mean hurting others.  
According to the Constitution of Bangladesh, Article 39(1) guarantees the freedom of thought and conscience, Article 39(2) (a) protects the freedom of speech and expression of every citizen, while freedom of the press is assured under Article 39(2) (b). But in terms of each enjoyment of each right Article 39(2) has envisaged reminded seven to eight reasonable restrictions subject to the law for the interests of state security, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, contempt of court, defamation and incitement to an offense.
It is shocking that even during the coronavirus pandemic the government is using the harsh Digital Security Act to send journalists for imprisonments knowing that the chance of contacting coronavirus is much greater in jails.
It hurts us to say that our journalists also do not care to be united for the cause of freedom and dignity. We are burying our past glory as fighting journalists.

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