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What is Bangladesh's controversial digital security law?

Bangladesh's Digital Security Act (DSA) criminalises engaging in "propaganda" against the "spirit" of the 1971 Bangladeshi war of independence, the national anthem, the flag and the nation's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of the current prime minister.

February 28, 2021 / 08:29 PM IST
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh saw another day of protests on Sunday following the death of a prominent writer and government critic in jail, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Mushtaq Ahmed, 53, collapsed and died on Thursday 10 months after being arrested under Bangladesh's Digital Security Act (DSA) for comments on Facebook criticising the government's response to coronavirus.

AFP looks at the legislation, which has alarmed foreign governments and which rights groups say is being used to silence dissent in the country of 168 million people under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.


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What is the law? 


Bangladesh's parliament passed the DSA in late 2018 after several major instances of deadly sectarian violence sparked by posts on social media, but the wording is vague and its provisions broad.