Dhaka, Oct 8 (IANS) Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid on Monday signed the Digital Security Bill 2018 into law amid objections from several media and rights organisations.
The President’s Press Secretary Md Joynal Adedin confirmed the signing to bdnews24.com.
Several media organisations objected to numerous sections of the new law soon after the draft of it was made available. Parliament passed the bill on September 19, ignoring the protests.
The Editors’ Council, a media organisation, said it curbs freedom of expression and threatens the free press.
Along with media organisations, several human rights organisations and members of the international community urged the government to consider changes to the new Digital Security Act, expressing their concern over various issues.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina dismissed the objections.
“Journalists who are not opting for false news or wrong information have no need to worry about the new law.
“But those who have readied write-ups against us and are waiting to publish them regularly should be concerned,” Hasina said
The new law also empowers the police to search, confiscate or make arrests without a warrant.
It also has a provision that stipulates a maximum seven years of imprisonment or 2.5 million Bangladesh taka ($29,913) fine or both for illegally accessing any significant information structure.