Journalists and human rights groups are demanding major amendments to a bill recently passed in Bangladesh’s Parliament, saying it will further choke constitutionally protected freedom of speech.

A powerful body of editors of leading newspapers and TV stations has officially protested the bill, called the Digital Security Act, and plans to form a human chain to protest Saturday in front of the national press club in Dhaka.

FILE- An Oct. 7, 2017 file photo of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Journalists and human rights groups are demanding major amendments to a new law passed in Bangladesh Parliament in September, 2018, saying the law will choke constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression. Hasina, who political opponents decry as an autocrat, defended the controversial bill in Parliament, saying that it was meant to protect the country’s 162 million people. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad, File)

Observers say the bill is part of a broader campaign to silence critics in Bangladesh and reflects a worrying tendency toward authoritarianism.

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who political opponents decry as an autocrat, defended the bill in Parliament last week, saying that it was meant to protect the country from propaganda.

Source: The Associated Press

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