VOICE is a rights-based, activist organization working mainly on the issues of food sovereignty, aid effectiveness, economic justice, and the right to information and communication, both in Bangladesh and on a global scale. By building a broader constituency of alternative voices to the ‘mainstream development discourse’ through research and public education, VOICE is taking a stand against unjust and undemocratic practices.
CSO representatives from countries across the Asia Pacific expressed resounding concern last March 10-11 over the shrinking civil society space in the region in the recently concluded Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation on Building Evidence in Seoul, Korea.
“Organisations who are into public policy or are into rights-based work are severely curtailed,” according to CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) Asia Focal Person Azra Sayeed as she discussed some of the challenges faced by Asia Pacific CSOs in defending enabling environment in law and in practice.
“It just shows you the level of barriers that we really have to overcome just to ensure some amount of credibility to our work,” she added.
The two-day meeting is part of a series of regional consultations that aim to gather inputs from all stakeholders to shape the substance of the first Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) High-Level Meeting (HLM) in Mexico this coming April.
Tied Aid and the Private Sector
Open web brings a tremendous opportunity for the humanity to practice democratic freedom of expression. It opens up a new culture and interactions among people and societies that humankind ever enjoyed. Freedom that we want is celebrated through internet medium and the world itself becomes a net to practice and lead lives within and outside having each other always.
Let's celebrate the great birth of net and enjoy. Cheers,
VOICE is going to organize a two days training workshop on `Challenges of Freedom of Expression in Social Media' which will be held on 11-12 January 2014 at SUPRO Training Centre (House-8/19, Sir Sayed Road, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207, Phone- 029145600). Note that the inaugural programme will be begin at 4:00 pm. on 11 February 2014.
The workshop aims at broadly discussing aournd the issues affecting freedom of expression in social media along with the existing practices on regulations. The workshop also aims to raise critical awareness and develop perspective with the human rights framework. It also aims to build a broader constituency building capacity and strengthening networking through raising voices on freedom of expression issues.
The workshop will be attended by online activists, bloggers, CSOs, NGOs, journalists, lawyers, rights groups, and relevant professional bodies.
Privacy Rights Observatory_VOICE: Bangladesh
Issue for November-December 2013
Contents for newsletter
1. Computer and documents seized from opposition party office
2. India thinks about high-tech surveillance in indo-Bangla border
3. Conversation of editor of popular Bangla Newspaper leaked
4. Election commission concerns on the wealth statement of Member of Parliaments and Ministers : Conflict of Privacy and Right to Information?
WTO must end its business
Farjana Akter, VOICE
Since its inception of the World Trade Organizations (WTO) in 1995, policies made by the multilateral giant blocked the access of developing countries to international markets. WTO, the promoter of `globalization' introduces injustice and undermines human rights through it's biased policies and regulations. In the ninth ministerial conference taking place in Bali from 3 -6 December 2013, WTO should give back Least Developed Countries (LDCs) rights and listen to their legal demands. LDCs has been struggling to get Quota-Free and Duty Free market access to intrenational markets, subsidy in agriculture since long.
The empty promise of Agreement of Agriculture (AoA) needs to be readdressed, meanwhile, it has worsened the conditions of the millions subsistence farmers and small-scale food producers in the developing countries, while giving scope to corporations to accumulate more profit.
The institution needs to uncover the discriminatory rules and regulations for developing countries with a strong reform within it. Developing countries are demanding for ensuring simple and transparent rules of origin for duty-free market access, it asks for preferential market access for their services sector.
Different organisations formed a human chain in front of National Press Club in the city on Saturday with a call to end impunity.
They also demanded punishment of those responsible for attacking and killing journalists across the country.
Rights group VOICE, Media Watch, BMSF and International Press Institute (IPI) organised the event in observance of the International Day to End Impunity.
Journalists, human rights activists and members of the civil society participated in the programme.
The speakers urged the government to ensure justice for the journalists who were killed during professional duties.
They also demanded exemplary punishment of the killers of Sagar Sarwar, news editor at private TV station Maasranga, and his wife Meherun Runi, a senior reporter at ATN Bangla.
A total of 700 journalists were killed in last decade while 93 journalists and bloggers were killed alone till November in 2013 globally.
Executive Director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud moderated the programme.
Among others, President of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, President of Dhaka Union of Journalists Omar Faruk, General Secretary Jahangir Alam Pradhan, President of a faction of BFUJ Ruhul Amin Gazi, and Treasurer Khairuzzaman Kamal spoke.
[Dhaka, 23 Novemebr 2013] Rights group VOICE, Media Watch and International Press Institute (IPI) jointly organized a human chain in front of National Press Club in Dhaka today to mark the International Day to End Impunity. Speakers called to end Impunity and demanded to stop violence against journalists, bloggers, writers while urged to attain justice within the judicial system. In observance of International Day to End Impunity, journalists, human rights defenders and members of the civil society attended the human chain.
Call to End Impunity
VOICE, Media Watch and International Press Institute (IPI) are jointly organizing a human chain in front of National Press Club in Dhaka calling to end Impunity and demanding to stop violations against journalists and to attain justice within the judicial system. Human chain will be held on 23rd November 2013 during the observance of International Day to End Impunity. Journalists, writers, human rights defenders and members of the civil society will attend the human chain.
The aspirations of free peoples are seldom harmful to liberty, because they result either from oppression or from fear that there is going to be oppression.”
– Niccolo Machiavelli, Discourses I.4
cyberON September 20, 2013 the treasury bench placed a bill in parliament purporting to further amend the current law of the land on information and communication technology, namely ‘Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006.’ Not withstanding a good deal of protestations, this in all likelihood is going to be made law. Interestingly, however, this comes close on the heels of an ordinance amending the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006 Act promulgated by the President of the Republic on August 20, 2013. The unease is legible in your face.
Journalists and rights activists yesterday urged parliamentarians not to approve the recent amendment proposal to the ICT law, which they said could easily be misused.
Law enforcers will be able to arrest any person without any warrant for publishing any material in electronic form that causes deterioration of law and order, harm the image of the state or person or hurt religious belief, according to the ICT (Amendment) Act 2013.
The offender of the non-bailable crime will be punished for a maximum of 14 years in jail and seven years at the minimum, as per the law.
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