Dhaka: Bangladesh’s Cabinet today approved adraft law with a provision of life imprisonment and Tk 1 crore compensation for defaming the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan and the country’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “The proposed law suggests that if anybody conducts propaganda against the War of Liberation and its spirit, Father of the Nation ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman or the Liberation War issues, which are resolved by the court, through electronic media, he or she will suffer maximum life imprisonment and the minimum three-year imprisonment and the highest Taka 1 crore (about USD 1.27 lakh) fine or both the punishment,” Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam told reporters.
Coming out of the Cabinet meeting, Alam said the proposed Digital Security Act-2016 prescribed punitive action of 14-year imprisonment for attacking or hacking into important information infrastructure like state-run airline Biman Airline’s Cyber Management, using digital devices. Officials earlier said the proposed law sought to replace sections of the existing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (Amendment) Act, 2013 – meant to deal with cybercrimes that could cause financial and administrative damage to the country. They said the draft law would not replace the ICT Act but scrap provisions which were incorporated in the new proposal.
The new law has been proposed while Bangladesh already has Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act-2006 in effect and it recently drafted Liberation War Crimes Denial Act-2016 to check distortion and denial of established historical facts related to the 1971 war against Pakistan. The 1971 war was a revolution and armed conflict sparked by the rise of the Bengali nationalist and self-determination movement in then-East Pakistan. It resulted in the independence of Bangladesh. PTI
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