The editor of the country’s leading newspaper, Prothom Alo, has been sued alongside other staff members under the Digital Security Act.
Prothom Alo itself reported the development at 3.19am (Thursday) on its website.
It said the case was filed at 1.30am at Ramna police station by a lawyer named Abdul Malek (Mashiur Malek), accusing the paper’s editor and publisher Matiur Rahman, reporter Shamsuzzaman Shams, an unnamed ‘assistant cameraman’, and unnamed others of ‘using print, online, and electronic media to tarnish the image and reputation of the state’.
The case was filed under sections 25, 31 and 35 of the DSA.
It is worth mentioning that Shams, the paper’s Savar correspondent, was sued in a separate case under the DSA just a day earlier on Wednesday afternoon, around 10 hours after being picked up from his house near Jahangirnagar University by members of the Criminal Investigation Department of police.
That case was filed at Tejgaon police station by one Golam Kibria, a resident of Mirpur in the capital, accusing Shams of publishing a fake and fabricated news on the country’s Independence Day, as reported by UNB yesterday.
Prothom Alo managed to speak to the plaintiff in the latest case, Abdul Malek, who said, “I filed a first information report (FIR). Don’t know if it (case) has been filed. They (police) have contacted different places. You know how it is with the police."
However Ramna police was unwilling to provide the daily with any information, it reports, adding that two of its reporters went to the police station at around 12:30am, but failed to enter the station despite trying for one-and-a-half hours.
The paper was asked to go back in the morning to collect a copy of the FIR.
The Ramna Police Station officer-in-charge (OC) could not be reached for a comment on the matter.
Section 25 of the DSA criminalizes publishing or propagating “any information with the
intention of tarnishing the image of the nation,” as well as knowingly publishing false or distorted information.
Section 31 refers to publishing or propagating in digital format any file that creates “hostility, hatred or adversity among people or destroys communal harmony or creates unrest or disorder or deteriorates or threatens to deteriorate law and order” in the country.
Section 35 covers aiding or abetting any of the offences listed under the act.