The United States Embassy in Dhaka has said it notes the passage of the new Cyber Security Bill by the Bangladeshi Parliament.
“We regret that the government of Bangladesh did not give stakeholders adequate opportunity to review and provide input on the new law to ensure it meets international standards,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, the CSA retains many aspects of its predecessor, the Digital Security Act. The new legislation continues to criminalize freedom of expression, retains non-bailable offences, and too easily could be misused to arrest, detain and silence critics.”
However, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, before the US embassy’s statement, said the government had considered all concerns.
“In good spirit, we accepted them. Their issues have been addressed here,” he said, replying to a question at a press briefing on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s joining the UN General Assembly in New York on September 17.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, meanwhile, suggested reading the Cyber Security Bill before making any comments on it.
“Read the bill first,” he told reporters while responding to a question at a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The bill was passed in parliament on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Law Minister Anisul Huq on Thursday told parliament there was no scope for quashing cases filed under the soon-to-be-replaced Digital Security Act.
He explained in response to a question from a Gono Forum lawmaker that for crimes committed under an old law, courts would dole out punishment to the criminal according to that law’s provisions.
Source : Dhaka Tribune