** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

UN Human Rights chief urges immediate suspension of DSA

01 April 2023
UN Human Rights chief urges immediate suspension of DSA

Volker Turk

Staff Reporter  :
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk yesterday called on Bangladesh to immediately suspend Digital Security Act.
"I am concerned that the Digital Security Act is being used across Bangladesh to arrest, harass and intimidate journalists and human rights defenders, and to muzzle critical voices online," Türk said in a press release.
"I call again on the authorities to impose an immediate moratorium on its use and to reform comprehensively its provisions to bring them in line with the requirements of international human rights law. My office has already provided detailed technical comments to assist with such a revision."
The UN rights body said more than 2,000 cases have been filed under the Digital Security Act which came into force on 1 October 2018. The latest, on 29 March, involved Shams Zaman, a journalist working for the country's largest daily newspaper Prothom Alo.
He was detained and his laptop, phone and other
equipment seized during a house search. His application for bail was rejected, the press release adds.
"A second case has been filed against the editor of Prothom Alo, Matiur Rahman, and a photographer. The case is based on their reporting of the cost-of-living crisis in Bangladesh," the press release adds.
"My office has consistently raised concerns about the overly broad and ill-defined provisions of the Digital Security Act," Türk said.
The UN rights chief said the government has promised there will be safeguards against the arbitrary or excessive application of the law but that is not enough when arrests continue.
"The law itself needs a proper overhaul."
The high commissioner called for the creation of an independent judicial panel to review all pending cases brought under the Digital Security Act with a view to those accused being released.
Türk also reiterated his concern about the ongoing trial of Adilur Rahman Khan and Nasiruddin Elan from the now de-registered Odhikar human rights organisation, accused of falsely reporting about alleged human rights violations in a case dating back to 2013.
The press release also mentioned that a young man named Poritosh Sarkar was sentenced to five years in prison under this law after being accused of hurting religious sentiments in a post on Facebook.

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