CHANGES TO ICT LAW ICT Act against freedom of speech: Rizvi

The proposed amendment of the information and communications technology law, which the cabinet recently approved, would make the legislation a tool to suppress the freedom of speech and free thinking, a senior BNP leader alleged Tuesday.

“This is another move to suppress the opposition,” BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed said at a press briefing at the party’s headquarters in Nayapaltan.

The amendment is politically motivated with an aim to enforce the infamous “Bakshal” again, he alleged.

The cabinet on August 19 approved the draft of the ICT (Amendment) Ordinance-2013 proposing to empower law enforcers to arrest any person without warrant and increase the highest punishment to 14 years.

In the original Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act-2006, enacted by the BNP-Jamaat government, the maximum punishment was 10 years’ jail term and a fine of Tk 1crore.

Earlier, police had to seek permission from the authorities concerned to file a case and arrest any person involved in crimes covered under the law.

Once the ordinance is passed, a person accused of violation of the law would be arrested without any warrant and the offences will be considered as non-bailable.

Source: The Daily Star

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