Rasheda K Chowdhury
File photo

It is astonishing as to what has been happening over sharing a Prothom Alo online report with a graphic card on Facebook.  

As a citizen it seems to me that the way the reactions are being given from various quarters is not acceptable. The incident may be condemnable or someone may give counter statements if he/she does not like it. This is part of democratic norms. Everybody has freedom of expression. But how are cases filed in connection with the incident under the Digital Security Act? I am not a legal expert, and as a general citizen, this is not understandable to me. The policymakers should consider it. Policymakers are making statements in various ways over it. The foreign ministry has given a statement. From various statements, I am unable to understand in which direction the incident is turning. What I clearly understand is that suing an editor under the Digital Security Act and showing a journalist arrested after picking him up and the incidents that follow are curbing the media independence.

The policymakers are thinking the incident of a report is tarnishing the image of the country. But is not the image of the country being tarnished the way the policymakers are making the statements? Bangladesh has ascended to the highway of development. We feel proud of it. But the development is only of structural development and there is no certainty of foods, jobs and accommodation. The part and parcel of human dignity is the freedom of expression and this exists in all democratic countries. The party, which led the Liberation War, is currently in power, we don't expect the misuse of the Digital Security Act during their tenure.

As a citizen I feel proud as I own the spirit of the Liberation War. So I want to say how the extremist group campaigns on Facebook and YouTube against the government and the state, but we don't seem to become so up and doing there.

This is not acceptable as to how a journalist of a newspaper of progressive thinking is picked up and shown arrested and a case has been filed against the editor under the Digital Security Act (DSA).

*Rasheda K Chowdhury is a former adviser to the caretaker government.