BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday urged journalists and professionals to launch a strong movement against all ‘repressive laws’, including the Digital Security Act.
“The media in Bangladesh have taken a different character. If you look at the print and electric media, you will find them in a sorry state. One or two newspapers who used to write freely, don’t dare doing that now,” he said.
The BNP leader also said the government has created a terrible situation with various ‘oppressive’ laws to suppress journalists and gag the media. “Let’s launch a movement to repeal all the repressive laws and the Digital Security Act.”
He made the remarks at a discussion organised by Ruhul Amin Gazi Mukti Parishad demanding the release of the journalist leader at Jatiya Press Club.
Police arrested Ruhul Amin Gazi, president of a faction of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), under the DSA on October 21 last year.
Fakhrul suggested that journalists hold a convention in Dhaka demanding the release of Ruhul Amin Ghazi alongside intensifying the movement to have him freed.
He bemoaned that a group of journalists and the media owners have been desperately flattering the government to get its shelter and blessings. “This is the current situation of the country. It hurts me.”
The BNP leader said the government has taken a stance against people, independence and the constitution to turn the country into a truly failed state. “The current government has become a subservient and puppet one. So, people have now no freedom of speech and independence.”
He also alleged that the government is snatching people’s freedom of speech by procuring telephone-hacking tools from Israel.
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"One thing we have to keep in mind is that there’s no alternative to a mass upsurge uniting people to get rid of the current situation of the country. We don't have weapons and we also don’t believe in armed struggle. We want to achieve the victory together with people,” the BNP leader added.
Fakhrul accused the government of politicising all state and democratic institutions. “Awami League is a party that never believed in democracy. This is the party that established the one-party Baksal rule in 1975 by banning all the parties and shutting down all the newspapers.”
He also said the government has failed to deliver on all fronts as it is focusing only on ‘corruption and plundering’ public money.
Speaking at the programme, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna urged BNP leaders and activists to continue a movement against the current regime. “It may not take a long time to ensure the fall of this regime,” he said.
He said the government’s weaknesses and its problems with police and administrations are getting exposed before people. “Anger against the government has been prevailing everywhere. They (govt) are losing grounds beneath their feet. No one will be able to resist the fall of this regime.”