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On December 16, 1971, following Bangladesh's emergence as an independent nation through a bloody war of independence, the founding fathers pledged to establish a society based on democratic values such as respect for the rule of law, fundamental human rights, and the dignity and worth of individuals. Since freedom of speech and expression is the lifeblood of a democratic society governed by the rule of law, the founding fathers made this right an integral part of the constitutionally entrenched bill of rights. However, this Article will demonstrate that the ideal of a society based on democratic virtues has been drastically weakened through the enactment of two digital security laws, namely the Information and Communication Technology Act (ICTA) and the Digital Security Act (DSA). The ICTA's broad scope, in particular Section 57, had been used by the current regime to launch an unprecedented crackdown on the fundamental human rights of individuals, particularly the freedom of speech and expression. Consequently, Section 57 wa,s repealed through the enactment of the DSA. Notwithstanding the repeal of Section 57, several of its key features have found a place in the DSA and are already being misused by the regime to stifle dissent in the same manner. Thus, this Article will put forward recommendations for ensuring the promotion and protection of the democratic virtues on which Bangladesh was founded.


Thomas More Law School

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Journal Article

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