Silence by sanction
By The Editors
9 August 2018
Readings on legal hurdles to free speech across Southasia.
Photojournalist and activist Shahidul Alam was picked up by the Bangladeshi law enforcement earlier this week over remarks made on Facebook about the government crackdown on protesting students in Dhaka. Alam continues to be in custody under Section 57 (2) of the controversial Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act, a legislation that has attracted widespread criticism over its draconian nature. The act has been used to detain over 20 journalists in the recent past for, among other things, social media posts and comments critical of the government. Over the years, similar laws have been enforced in other countries of Southasia, with authorities abusing the provisions of these often hurriedly and arbitrarily passed laws to clamp down on any dissent.
Sarah Eleazar on how Pakistan’s Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act impinges on freedom of expression.
Lawrence Liang looks at how the strategic use of the law threatens investigative journalism in India.