The government will modify the DSA in the event of inconsistency: Minister of Justice

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Government team works with UNHCR to determine if human rights are violated due to DSA

TBS Report

30 December 2021, 21:40

Last modification: December 30, 2021, 9:50 PM

Justice Minister Anisul Huq. Photo: Collected

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Justice Minister Anisul Huq. Photo: Collected

Justice Minister Anisul Huq said the government will amend the digital security law if an inconsistency is found in the law.

“A team of six members – comprising representatives of several ministries including the Ministry of Law, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies and the Ministry of the Interior – has been formed to examine the matter,” said he said in response to a question from journalists at a press conference. exchange meeting organized by the Overseas Correspondents Association Bangladesh (Ocab) at the National Press Club on Thursday.

The team is working with the office of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) to determine whether human rights are being violated as a result of the application of this law, he said, adding, “If they find it, we will take the necessary action.” to rectify it. We will take the necessary steps to rectify the law if they find an inconsistency. ”

Noting that the government has already formed a cell to investigate, before any case is filed under the digital security law, whether the allegation has the credibility to start the trial of the case, he said: “If the complaint is deemed substantial, only then the case will go to court.

The Minister of Justice said that at present, no journalist is arrested immediately after the filing of a DSA file. The claim is verified first.

When asked if the government would give written instructions in this regard, he said all police stations were initially ordered not to arrest any journalists immediately after filing a complaint. “As far as I know, no journalist has been arrested in the past six months under the Digital Security Act.”

The DSA was enacted to prevent criminal offenses that occur digitally, it is not intended to restrict press freedom, he said, adding that steps have been taken to end abuses of this. law.

Nazrul Islam Mithu, chairman of Dhaka Reporters Unity and member secretary of Ocab, chaired the meeting, titled “Meet the Ocab”, under the supervision of Qadir Kallol, BBC correspondent and head of the Ocab convening committee.

Senior journalist Farid Hossain, Anisur Rahman, editor-in-chief of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha and other OCAB members were also present on the occasion.

In response to a question about the formation of the Election Commission (EC), but it would not be appropriate to do so overnight, the Minister of Justice said: “The constitution contains a provision to legislate on the formation of the EC, and we want to do it; but such important legislation cannot be rushed through. ”

The Minister of Justice said: “Article 117 of the constitution stipulates that the electoral commission will be constituted by the president. Before forming the last two electoral commissions, after consulting the registered political parties, it was a committee formed with members suggested by the political parties.

“The search committee would recommend 10 names, including five election commissioners including the CEC to be appointed by the president. thinks we have to make a law. “

Huq said, “Although the session of parliament was held due to a constitutional obligation, not all MPs were able to attend due to the emergence of the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus. In this context, it would not be fair to pass an electoral commission law bypassing parliament. “

In response to a question about the treatment of foreigners by BNP President Khaleda Zia, the Minister of Justice said: “The government cannot break the law. If the government does anything, it will be in accordance with the law. did not mention any specific section of the law under which she could be released, with or without conditions.

The justice minister said that given the plea they filed, the government suspended her sentence by decree and released her on condition that she could not travel overseas.

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