The Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) has strongly condemned the reported threat by LR Global Asset Management Company to file a case against Niaz Mahmud, a staff reporter of the daily Dhaka Tribune, under the Digital Security Act (DSA) for publishing news against the company.
"As a forum which has over the decades steadfastly upheld the rights of the country's business and economic journalists, we think the threat is an assault against freedom of expression," ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy and General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We believe every aggrieved person, firm, group or organisation has the right to defend itself from an unlawful reporting or smear campaign. But we strongly protest any move to use the Digital Security Act to target a journalist."
The country's civil society, rights groups, journalist organisations and the Editors Council have strong reservations about the DSA and have repeatedly demanded amendments to some of the key clauses of the laws, mentioned the statement.
International rights groups such as the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) have highlighted how the DSA has been used since its enactment in 2018 to muzzle dissent and even rightful reporting practices.
Some rights groups even demanded the repeal of the law, saying it was being used to target truth-seeking journalists.
"We hope LR Global Asset Management Company Limited will reconsider its stand and act as a responsible and morally upright business organisation," read the statement.
"The ERF stands against any move to silence lawful journalism by any member of the media."