Bangladeshi Reporters Protest the Digital Security Bill

Hundreds of Bangladeshi journalists on Thursday (1/2) took to the streets against a new digital security bill that activists say would undermine media freedom in the country.

The 2018 Digital Security Act by the cabinet this week means that a journalist could be charged with spying for entering a government office and secretly collecting information using electronic devices, a violation of a 14-year prison sentence.

The Act can also impose life sentences for spreading "negative propaganda" about the independence war or the country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, using digital devices.

Media organizations including the International Federation of Journalists International Federation of Journalists – IFJ – denounced the law , which has not been approved by parliament.

"IFJ believes, the draft law ng it gives more reason to misuse the provision in order to harass journalists and limit freedom of expression, "said the Brussels-based organization, Belgium,

" The law will also strengthen law enforcement to seek or arrest anyone without a letter a court order if a police officer believes the violation of the law has been or is happening. "

Around 200 Bangladeshi journalists gathered in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka on Thursday, demanding the government cancel the bill.

parliament, the cruel laws will not only curb investigative journalism, but also all kinds of news, "said M. Abdullah, general secretary of the Federal Union of Journalists.

A number of journalists also posted a photo of themselves on Facebook holding a placard bearing the words" I am a spy "to protest the spy clause in the bill.

Television journalist The Maitraya district participated in protests. He said most of his duties would be considered a criminal offense under the law.

"I want to continue working as a journalist, so I declare myself to be a spy based on the law," he said in a post beside his photograph being uploaded to social media site, Facebook. [ka/ii]

Burma Officially Defends 2 Reuters Reporters

Two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar, on Wednesday (10/1), have been formally charged with violating the State Secrecy Act.

Prosecutors filed charges against Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo on Wednesday (10/1) a short trial in Yangon. The two journalists were arrested on December 12 after they allegedly received secret documents from two policemen at a dinner event.

The lawyers of both journalists said the judge rejected the request to release his two clients on bail but promised to take a decision at the next hearing , which is scheduled to take place on January 23.

The two journalists briefly met with their families after the trial, before being returned to prison.

Outside the court, dozens of black-clad journalists marched to show their support for Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. Some of them carried banners reading "Journalism is not a crime."

The two men face the possibility of a maximum jail term of 14 years if proven to violate the State Secrecy Act. The law itself is centuries old or valid since Myanmar is still under British colonial rule. [ab/uh]

Myanmar urged to release 2 arrested Reuters reporters

Several governments including the United States, the European Union and Canada and top UN officials are demanding Myanmar release two journalists working for Reuters, who were detained in the country.

The two journalists were arrested on December 12 after being asked to come to the police on the outskirts of Yangon. They were preparing a report on the military crackdown in the Rakhine state. According to the UN, the crackdown caused some 665,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh since August.

After being brought to trial the two journalists on Wednesday (27/12) were admitted to Insein prison house in Yangon. There they were allowed to meet with family members and a lawyer for the first time since their arrest.

The Myanmar Ministry of Information explained that the two journalists' illegally collected information with the intent to be disseminated to foreign media, and released their pictures with handcuffed hands . It is said that the two journalists along with two police officers were accused of violating the Official Secrets Act of the British colonial period that could subject them to 14 years in prison despite the official saying they still have not been charged.

Reuters President and Chief Editor Stephen J. Adler exclaimed the Reuters reporters were immediately released.

Through the statement he says, "Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are journalists who play an important role in presenting news that has global importance and they are not doing anything wrong." [al]

Two Reuters reporters in Myanmar still huddled 2 more weeks

Two Reuters reporters in Myanmar captured earlier this month will be caught in two weeks in detention.

The court approved a prosecutor's request Wednesday to impose a second 14-day detention on Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo . Wednesday's hearing was the men's first public appearance since being arrested on December 12th. The courtroom is full of journalists and family members of both journalists, who have been banned from meeting with them in the period of detention.

Wa Lone keeps saying he and his partners do not violate any laws, and soothes their families that they are not being cruelly treated. 19659002] 31-year-old Wa Lone and 27-year-old Kyaw Soe Oo are being investigated for breach of Myanmar's State Secrets Act. Both are covering a military brutal action against Rohingya Muslim ethnicity in Rakhine state. Approximately 655,000 Rohingyas have fled across the border into Bangladesh to avoid violence, which the UN has described as a clear case of ethnic cleansing.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo face the possibility of being sentenced to 14 years in prison if found guilty based State Secrets Act. [gp]