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Bangladesh president gives assent to digital law seen curbing free speech

Bangladesh president gives assent to digital law seen curbing free speech

File photo of street in Bangladesh. (Photo: AFP/Munir Uz Zaman)

DHAKA: Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid on Monday (Oct 8) gave his assent to a controversial new law that local media organisations fear could cripple press freedom and curb free speech in the country.

"The President has given his assent to the Digital Security Act today making it law," said Joynal Abedin, press secretary to the president.

The South Asian nation's parliament passed the Digital Security Act on Sep 19, combining the colonial-era Official Secrets Act with tough new provisions such as allowing police to arrest individuals without a warrant.

Last month, protests by local media groups against the new legislation were cancelled after the government held talks with them and promised to amend the legislation to address some of their concerns.

Source: Reuters/aa

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