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30 election will be a litmus test for the strength of democracy in Bangladesh.The last election in 2014 was boycotted by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as unfair and shunned by international observers, with more than half the seats uncontested.Journalists, however, question the timing of the laws and have staged protests in recent weeks in the capital Dhaka, particularly against the DSA, which they say will thwart their ability to report independently, especially on the upcoming election.Critics of Hasina, who is seeking a third straight term in power, say the Dec.The findings are based on an analysis of web freedom in 65 countries, covering 88 percent of the world's online population.Freedom House ranked China as the worst abuser of internet freedom for the second consecutive year, followed by Syria and Iran.

A man in Turkey was later sentenced to a one-year suspended prison term for an image he created comparing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Gollum, from Lord of the Rings.

Two-thirds of the world's internet users live under regimes of government censorship, according to a report released today.

The report from Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank, finds that internet freedom across the globe declined for a sixth consecutive year in 2016, as governments cracked down on social media services and messaging apps.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain/File Photo While Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s administration has won plaudits globally for welcoming hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar, critics have lashed out at it for cracking down on free speech and an increasingly authoritarian rule.

In interviews Reuters conducted with 32 journalists and editors across print, digital and broadcast media in Bangladesh, the vast majority said the recent strengthening of defamation laws with a new Digital Security Act (DSA) has spread a climate of fear in the industry.

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