Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has demanded that the government repeal the Digital Security Act immediately.
In a press statement issued in protest at the custodial death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed, the Bangladesh unit of the Berlin-based anti-graft watchdog claimed the Digital Security Act is a powerful tool to suppress dissent in the hands of so-called influential groups.
The organisation also urged the government to hold all the departments and individuals responsible for the tragic incident of Mushtaq accountable.
Some sections of the Digital Security Act, under which allegations of spreading propaganda to tarnish the image of the state and the government have been brought against many including Mushtaq, have been misused and misinterpreted in many cases, said TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.
Referring to media reports, Iftekharuzzaman said 197 cases were filed against 457 people under the Digital Security Act in 2020, while 85 professional media workers were charged in 41 cases.
In most of the cases filed under this act, the plaintiffs are law enforcers or leaders and activists of the ruling party, he added.