Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Digital Security Act can be amended after election: Gowher Rizvi

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2018-12-06 17:45:33 BdST


An advisor to the prime minister has indicated the possibility of amending the controversial Digital Security Act after the elections.

Gowher Rizvi, the international affairs adviser, said that there are instances that laws have been amended to achieve the desired objectives.

“I can really assure you that after elections, if the discussion goes on, there is no reason why should not (be amended),” he said on Thursday, speaking at the TIB organised seminar on the act which was passed in September amid concerns from the media.

Journalists have seen the law as a way of stifling their voices and demanded that it be changed.

The prime minister’s adviser said freedom of expression is the “foundation of our civilization”.

“There is no way one can control it,” he said, adding that restrictions on opinion and freedom of speech do not work.

“It’s a slippery slope. No one knows where it ends. Better not to control it,” he said, adding that whatever knowledge, art and culture we have are the result of freedom of thought.

 “We must all remember. Without freedom of expression, the environment we want cannot be achieved.”

He added that investigative journalism has to be evidence-based. “When it is evidence-based, then no law can suppress it. The law never denies evidence.”

He, however, said so-called investigative not based on evidence is a way “to insult the noble profession of journalism”.

The adviser also called upon all to use the social weapons such as ostracising individuals or boycotts to fight corruption.

The TIB also distributed awards to reporters for anti-corruption reporting at the event.