"Flag of Bangladesh" by FDRMRZUSA / Public Domain

Bangladesh in the Shadow of Censorship

Sep 15, 2020

By Azeez Intizar and Sabrina Majed

Independent Bangladesh has witnessed both military rule and the establishment of democratic institutions; throughout, the press have continued to suffer at the hands of not only various censorship laws, but also a number of sedition and criminal libel laws. With increasing use of social media in the recent decade, one of the most draconian laws, the Digital Security Act 2018, allows for conducting searches and arresting individuals without a warrant, and criminalizes various forms of speech.

Bangladesh now ranks 151st among 180 countries, with the lowest score for press freedom among all South Asian countries, according to Reporters without Borders (RSF). In the two years since the Digital Security Act was passed, Bangladesh has dropped five places.

In the article, we reflect on how freedom of speech in Bangladesh has evolved since the country’s birth.

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