Staff Correspondent: Civics, an international organization working on civil rights, considers the civil rights of the people of Bangladesh to be ‘suppressed’. The organization has identified the condition of citizens in the country as ‘oppressed’. This position of Bangladesh came up for the fifth time in a row in the report entitled ‘People Power Under Attack 2022’ of the globally published organization.
The state of civil rights and freedom of people in 196 countries of the world has been highlighted in this report. These countries have been placed in 5 categories by checking the civil rights. The status of three important rights – freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression – has been assessed.
Rights fall into five categories – open, narrow, restricted, suppressed and closed. This year too, Bangladesh has fallen into the ‘repressed’ category.
Civics says Bangladesh is facing a decline in civil liberties. The current Sheikh Hasina government has silenced dissent against the government by targeting and imprisoning critics. These restrictions are inconsistent with international agreements on civil and political rights.
According to Civics, the Hasina government has targeted human rights activists on politically motivated charges. For example, human rights activists Adilur Rahman Khan and ASM Nasiruddin Elan were sentenced to two years in prison on September 14 this year for violating Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act 2006.
Civics also said the current government in Bangladesh continues to use the Digital Security Act (DSA) to silence online critics. Human rights organizations have criticized the DSA Act.
Recently Law Minister Anisul Haque said on August 10 that the Bangladesh government will use the recently passed Cyber Security Act (CSA) instead of DSA. Human rights activists consider the CSA to be as repressive as the DSA, which is currently in force.
This is not the first time that Bangladesh has been criticized for being ‘repressed’ on civil rights. On July 22, the Center for Governance Studies reported that 62 percent of human rights workers consider their general working environment to be ‘very unsafe’ or ‘unsafe’.
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