Govt Out to ‘Usurp’ Power Again by Creating Climate of Fear with DSA: BNP

Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

BNP on Tuesday accused the government of trying to create a climate of fear by using the Digital Security Act (DSA) to muzzle the voice of people ahead of the next national election to ‘usurp’ power again.   

Speaking at a seminar, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir urged the government to repeal the DSA as it has now become a demand of mass people, reports UNB.    

“The government has enacted such laws to hang onto power by force. The national election is nearing. They have made these laws so that no one can put up a resistance against them and register protest against their wrongdoings ahead of the election,” he said

The BNP leader said the citizens of the country are being prevented from speaking up and lodging their complaints while the journalists are being obstructed from writing by abusing the DSA.

He said the government also wants to cross the election hurdle by keeping their opponents completely out of the race using the DSA and other ‘black’ laws.

“All the black laws must be abolished. First of all, the Digital Security Act should be repealed. It’s now the demand of the country and its mass people,” Fakhrul observed.

BNP arranged the seminar titled “Digital Security Act, Democracy & Constitutional Scheme” at a city hotel.  Advocate Asaduzzaman, the human rights affairs secretary of BNP, presented the keynote paper at the programme.”

Some people who were reported to be the victims of the DSA and ICT Act also spoke about their ordeal at the programme.

Fakhrul said the government has enacted the DSA and many other laws so that the citizens of the country are afraid to speak up.

He said there is a film titled 1984 depicting how authoritarian rule was established in North Korea by intimidating its citizens and creating a climate of fear to enslave that nation.  “Its reflection has now started in Bangladesh through the arrest and jailing of Prothom Alo journalist Shamsuzzaman and the filing of cases under the DSA against him and many other journalist brothers.”

The BNP leader said many journalists and cyber activists were jailed and tortured and made disappeared by the government.  

He also slammed the government for arresting Nafiz Mohammad Alam who was interviewed in a Deutsche Welle documentary on RAB.

Fakhrul said Nafiz was arrested with liquor in cases filed under the Pornography Act “This is their (govt’s) old practice. It’s also their weapon. They have many such weapons and they are using those weapons one after another with a goal to muzzle the voice of the citizens and snatch the rights of the citizens and thus they’re establishing a monarchy in their own way.”

He said it has become now a matter of luck to get justice in the judiciary while the administration has been fully politicisied and the education and health sectors have been destroyed.

 The BNP leader said the current Awami government is an unelected, illegal, and usurper regime. “It has been working completely as an occupation regime and taking the country to dire consequences. It is destroying the basic characteristics of Bangladesh and pushing a democracy-loving nation toward conflict.”

He said the most grievous crime the Awami League government has committed by destroying the country’s democratic soul in a deliberate and planned way to stay in power.

Fakhrul said Awami League’s main goal is to establish a one-party fascist rule under cover of democracy.  “There’s no alternative to ousting the incumbent regime to get rid of the current situation of the country and establish a pro-people government and parliament.”

BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said the DSA must be revoked as it contrary to the country’s constitution, democracy, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-1948.

In the keynote paper, Asaduzzaman said the DSA is undoubtedly a controversial law that is being used to suppress the dissenting voices and political opponents of the government. “The application of this law affects and touches not only the fundamental rights of the citizens but also the democratic fabric of the country which is the basic structure of our Constitution.”

He urged the global community to be vocal demanding that the DSA should be repealed immediately not only to protect the citizens, and their fundamental rights, but also to ensure democracy and restore voting rights.

BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Bangladesh Gono Odhikar Parishad Convenor, Dr Reza Kibria, Biplobi Workers Party general secretary Saiful Haque, Jatiya Party ( Zafar) chairman Mostafa Jamal Haider,  National People's Party (NPP) chairman Fariduzzaman Farhad and Dhaka University teacher Prof Lutfor Rahman, among others, spoke at the seminar.

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