Editors' Council expresses deep concern over DSA case against Samsuzzaman

Editors' Council

The Editors' Council in a statement has expressed deep concern over detaining and filing a lawsuit under Digital Security Act (DSA) against a staff correspondent of Prothom Alo, Samsuzzaman.

The statement was issued on Wednesday evening signed by the council president Mahfuz Anam and general secretary Dewan Hanif Mahmud.

In the statement, they demanded withdrawal of the case filed against the journalist based in Savar, Dhaka. 

It reads the Digital Security Act-2018 is creating barriers to freedom of expression.

Journalists, lawyers, human rights activists and the representatives of civil society have been expressing their concerns over the act since it was formulated.

The attempt to revise the DSA -- from several quarters, including ministers of the government and the members of parliament -- is underway.

Assuring the journalists of its misapplication, the law minister hinted at amending the act.

But the journalists and free thinkers are being repressed by implicating in the case under the DSA. No amendment has been made yet. If anyone is aggrieved of any news, he/she can file a complaint to the Press Council. But now no allegation is filed there. Cases are being lodged under DSA instead, the statement added.

In the statement, the council urged the government to amend the law immediately to ensure a free and amicable atmosphere to practice journalism. Besides, they demanded the release of all arrestees in the case.  

Earlier, a 'picture card' was prepared to post on Facebook, attaching the comment of day labourer Zakir Hossain on Sunday. But the card incorporated the photograph of a child, Sabuj, mistakenly. Later, Prothom Alo authorities withdrew the card as soon as they noticed the inconsistency.

In the report, it was clearly said that the comment was taken from Zakir Hossain, not from the child.

Prothom Alo's staff correspondent in Savar, Samsuzzaman, carried out the report for which he was picked up early on Wednesday from his residence.