Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, along with other civil society organizations, today sent a letter to the President of Bangladesh and the President of the National Human Rights Commission expressing serious concern regarding the version of the Digital Security Bill 2018 that recently passed the Cabinet. The Bill is likely to be introduced during the current session of parliament.
The letter calls on the government of Bangladesh to consult with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure that any final version of the Bill comports with Bangladesh’s international human rights law obligations. According to media reports, the Bill as written contains overbroad definitions and harsh punishments which, if enacted, would severely undermine freedom of expression as well as the freedom of the press.
In addition to Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, the organizations signing the letter are the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), the Asian Human Rights Commission, CIVICUS, FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Odhikar, People’s Watch, and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).