Hill Voice, 22 June 2020, Dhaka: There have been strong demands from various quarters recently for the repeal of the Digital Security Act. 60 teachers and twenty-three working organisations of students of Jahangirnagar University have issued a statement on Sunday, 21 June 2020 demanding repeal of the said law and release of those detained under the law.
Jahangirnagar University of Parbatya Chattagram Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) also expressed solidarity with 22 other organizations in the statement. Meanwhile, another human chain was organized in front of the central Shaheed Minar of Chittagong University on 22 June Monday with the same demand.
Rumen Chakma, Organizing Secretary of Chittagong University Branch of Chittagong Hill Tracts Hill Student Council (PCP), spoke in solidarity with the human chain. “Those detained under the Digital Security Act must be released immediately,” he said.
He further said that deprivation of freedom of speech in the name of Digital Security Act in independent Bangladesh is a very reprehensible and heinous thing. Freedom of speech is a human birthright. The state has no right to be deprived of this.
The student leader of PCP also called upon the government to ensure freedom of speech of the people by releasing the detainees and repealing the law immediately.
Maidul Islam, a teacher at Chittagong University, one of the organisers of the human chain, said, “There is a network of university teachers all over Bangladesh called ‘University Teachers Network’.”
He said, “Originally, everybody took part in the protest program from wherever they could. So I also took part in front of the Shaheed Minar of the University at noon.”
“Our speech, our language, our words, these are all things that people are born with. It is not right to impose censorship on them in any way” he said, adding that he also wanted the repeal of the Digital Security Act.
Meanwhile, at the foot of the Shaheed Minar of Dhaka University, the University Teachers Network has organized a human chain with the same demand. A human chain was also organized at Rajshahi University with the same demand.
Nippon Tripura, Central Organizing Secretary of PCP, told that he wanted the law to be repealed immediately. “We, the people of the hills, understand the sadness of not being able to speak our own minds”, he added.
“It is also a kind of injustice to deprive people of their right to opinion in the name of law in a democratic process. We also want the repeal of this law as soon as possible” he said, urging the government to release those detained under the law.
It is worth noting that the Digital Security Act has recently led to the arrest of nearly half a dozen people, including journalists and human rights activists, which undermines the freedom of thought and expression enshrined in the constitution.