What Irene Khan said about DSA is one-sided, irrelevant: Hasan
Published : Sunday, 26 June, 2022 at 6:41 PM Count : 551
About United Nations Special Rapporteur Irene Khan’s call for repealing the use of Digital Security Act (DSA) in Bangladesh, Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud says that what she (Irene Khan) had said is “one-sided view” and is “irrelevant.”
“Irene Khan is one of 80 UN rapporteurs who had earlier called in a statement to halt the trial of war criminals in Bangladesh. She kept herself silent when people were killed by the petrol bomb attack of BNP-Jamaat alliance; she did not issue any statement when Israeli forces were killing Palestinian children. What she (Irene Khan) had said is “one-sided view and is irrelevant,” said the minster while exchanging views with journalists at his Secretariat office in Dhaka on Sunday.
Earlier, reiterating her call for repealing the Digital Security Act, Irene Khan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, said the DSA imposes draconian punishments for a wide range of vaguely defined acts in Bangladesh.
“An example of such flawed legislation is the Digital Security Act of Bangladesh, which imposes draconian punishments for a wide range of vaguely defined acts encompassing national security, criminal cyber libel and disinformation, and bestows significant and highly intrusive investigative, search and seizure powers on the authorities,” Irene Khan said in a report submitted to the 50th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, which began on June 13 and ends on July 8.
Emphasizing on caution about the misuse of Digital Security Act, the Information Minister said it is important to ensure that none including journalists is unnecessarily suppressed or harassed. “I am cent percent agree with this view.”
He said that if there is a case against a journalist under the Digital Security Act, he would try to solve that case at his own initiative.
Hasan said not only one or two but there are at least eight laws on digital security in Britain, where Irene Khan is a citizen.
The laws of Britain are Data Protection Act 2018, Communications Act 2003, Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Official Secrets Act 1989 and Malicious Communications Act 1988, he said.
The Information Minister said that not only that, the sections of the Digital Security Act that are criticized in Bangladesh are also included in the laws of India, Pakistan, Singapore and even Australia.