Proposed digital media regulations to further restrict free speech: BNP

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The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has strongly criticized two draft digital media policies – the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission’s Regulations for Digital, Social Media and OTT Platforms, and the Policy for Delivery, Management and advertising services based on Over the Top content – and said that these would further restrict the freedom of expression of the popular masses and local and foreign media.

“Furthermore, draft policies can be used against human rights, journalists and opposition people,” Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the party’s general secretary, told media at a press conference. press at the BNP chairman’s office in the capital’s Gulshan on Saturday.

“The government has taken the initiative to quell its corruption and other irregularities, which it has done with the ICT law and the digital security law,” he added.

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting recently gathered public opinion on the two draft policies.

“The main problem with the Awami League government is that they do not distinguish between government and state. As a result, they become aggressive if anyone writes against their ministers or bureaucrats. law and policies in the name of protecting the state,” Fakhrul said.

Citing the high-profile case of journalist Rozina Islam, he added that the government would use the new regulations to shield its corrupt activities.

“Furthermore, these can be used to suppress people’s voice, establish anti-protest sentiment. In a nutshell, implementing the policies will help the government to legalize its corruption, vote theft, anti-protest activities. – human rights and its extrajudicial executions.

The BNP secretary general said the policies not only go against the country’s constitution, but also against the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights .

Human Rights Watch informed the president of the BTRC in a March 7 letter, he added.

The opposition party has called for reversing the policies and banning the existing digital security law.

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