Monday, November 19, 2018 | ePaper

Take seriously the promise made to the editors

  • Print
The Editors' Council will form a human chain in front of the National Press Club today (Monday) to press for amendments to nine sections of the Digital Security Act. Earlier, the Council postponed the same program following an assurance from three ministers including the information minister Hasanul Haq Inu that the Act would not get final approval unless it realized the Editor's demand. The minister had promised to seek the cabinet's approval for resuming discussion with the Editors. The Editors demanded to bring amendments to the law in the last session of the current parliament starting on October 21. But the promises made to the Editors were dodged.
The arbitrary law states that if a police official believes that an offence under the law has been or is being committed at a certain place, or there is a possibility of committing crimes or destroying evidence, s/he can search the place or any person there. In cases of offences relating to performance of duty by journalists, they must be issued summons to appear before a court [as is the law now], and under no circumstances should media professionals be arrested without warrant. The platform demanded that in instances of offences made by media professionals, it should be routed through the Press Council to establish a prima facie case.
It is widely alleged that, section 66A had been misused in various states to arrest innocent persons for posting critical comments about social and political issues on social networking sites. There was almost a similar provision in the ICT Act -- section 57 -- which was also widely abused to harass journalists.
The government has had success in getting a large number of obedient journalists, and dividing the journalist community under political ideology. In fact, it is the main weakness of the journalist community and for that reason all the subsequent governments took advantage of it. In the recent past when many dissent journalists were harassed, the platform kept mum.
We urge the government to take the promise made to the editor seriously for saving press freedom. No political government can survive by destroying press freedom. The government should have courage to give political leadership and not be subservient to the bureaucracy.


More News For this Category

Not extra fees, it’s extortion from SSC examinees

ALLEGATIONS abound about students across the country being charged extra fees, far beyond the government-set amount and defying a High Court directive, for appearing in the Secondary School Certificate examinations

US-China trade war : An opportunity for BD to expand businesses and attract FDI

THE ongoing trade war between the US and China has created a better opportunity for Bangladesh, especially for garment sectors. The exporters have been receiving a greater number of work

Outbreak of Hepatitis E Virus in Bangladesh

Rifat Zafreen :HEV is Hepatitis E Virus, which is one of the five known viral hepatitis caused by Hepatitis E virus. This HEV spreads usually through faucal contamination of drinking

Democrats’ victory new challenge to Republicans

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir :The retaking of the House by the Democrats will soon allow them to exercise checks and balances and stop the Republicans from going down a slippery slope.

Worries over CO2 emissions from wildfires

Navin Singh Khadka :Rising numbers of extreme wildfires could result in a significant increase in CO2 emissions, scientists warn. That could mean attaining the Paris climate agreement's goal of keeping

Readers’ Forum

Rural development a must There are a number of different types of development that every country needs-social, economic, in its governing institutions, etc. Bangladesh is a developing country that has

Find out the root cause of decreasing primary students

WHEN the authorities claim cent percent enrollment in primary education, a shocking picture was surfaced where number of student in primary schools is decreasing day by day. In 2013, some

Pro-people police is the demand of time

THE Police Investigation Bureau (PIB) has unveiled the mystery behind a spine-chilling crime where a middle-aged woman passenger was killed inside a running bus at Ashulia in the outskirts of

Is co-operative shining or declining?

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :The cooperative movement began in Europe in the nineteenth century, primarily in England and France. The industrial revolution and the increasing mechanization of the economy transformed

Rohingya will not be forced back to Myanmar

Al Jazeera :Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled Myanmar, citing rape, murder and arson, will not be forcibly repatriated, Bangladesh's Rohingya Relief and Repatriation Commissioner has said."No one will