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Right to Communication
In this campaign, VOICE is fighting against the global corporatization of media and the concurrent process of capital and power accumulation. The healthy field of dozens of media companies from years ago has now dwindled to a handful of influential media giants interested only in business and profit. In working for the right to communication, VOICE is critically analyzing these issues and giving a voice in the media to those who have none.
VOICE is actively pushing for government approval of community radio legislation, which currently does not exist in Bangladesh. Community radio is radio for the people and by the people, allowing them to talk about the issues that matter to their community, and is especially important where no other forms of media are available. As a voting member of AMARC, we are also trying to represent these issues at the global community level.
VOICE is also involved in the fight for freedom of expression in the press, as well as the campaign on Communication Rights in the Information Society, helping to formulate just policies on communication rights. VOICE translated the Internet Rights Charter into Bengali, in view of popularizing these issues.
Training workshop on `Privacy, Human Rights and Communication Surveillance: National Laws, Practices and Safeguards’
A day long training workshop on `Privacy, Human Rights and Communication Surveillance: National Laws, Practices and Safeguards’ has been held on 27 April 2013 at the CBCB (Catholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh), Dhaka.
The workshop discussed the issues of privacy and communication surveillance along with the existing practices on legal and policy regulations to raise critical awareness and develop perspective with the human rights framework. It discussed how to build a broader constituency creating capacity and strengthening networking through raising voices to uphold privacy rights being critical on communication surveillance in Bangladesh.
A report on freedom of expression online and right to internet access in Bangladesh which has been published by VOICE in January 2013.
This report analyzes the situation in Bangladesh based on the recommendations of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression. It investigates the country situation on what extent online freedom of expression in Bangladesh confirms the standards of national and international laws and policies.
This report draws the overview of the internet in Bangladesh describing the access and infrastructure, service quality and internet exchange gateways. It also describes the overview of United Nations Special Rapporteur Frank’s La Rue’s report and highlights the assessment of the recommendations while the report assesses the prevailing situation. This report also briefly discuss the political and human rights situation, policy framework of the internet in Bangladesh including the Telecommunication Policy of 1998, Telecommunication Act-2001, and the Information and Communication Technology Act (ICT).
Journalists, academics, rights activists and civil society representatives on Tuesday urged the government not to curb citizens’ freedom of expression by controlling internet use.
They made the call at a dialogue on ‘Challenges and opportunities of freedom of expression online in Bangladesh’ and the launch of a report ‘Bangladesh: an assessment of freedom expression online’ at a local hotel in the capital.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression programme launched the report.
The speakers observed that there was no need to formulate an online policy, saying that the Shahbagh movement itself was the result of blogging or online activities.
Referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the speakers at the programme emphasised the need to ensure right to freedom of expression online and pluralism in society.
The event was organised by VOICE, in association with Bangladesh Manabadhikar Sangbadik Forum, Campaign on Citizen Right to Information, Equity and Justice Working Group, Online Knowledge Society, Sushashaner Jonno Pracharavijan, School of Communications and Cultural Metaphysics.
THIRD SOUTH ASIAN MEETING ON THE INTERNET & FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
JANUARY 14-15, 2013
This is a statement by the participants in the Third South Asian Meeting on the Internet and Freedom of Expression that took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on January 14–15, 2013, following a violent attack on blogger Asif Mohiuddin.
Bangladeshi blogger Asif Mohiuddin was brutally attacked in a stabbing last evening. His condition is currently said to be critical. Violent attacks on mediapersons have led to at least four deaths in the past year. This trend is now extending to those writing online.
It is the duty of societies at large to ensure that principles we universally consider sacrosanct, such as the right to life and liberty and of freedom of expression are in fact ideas, and of the government to actively protect the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of Bangladesh and to ensure they are not just words on paper.
Through research, advocacy and debate, the Internet Democracy Project seeks to unearth both the changes wrought by technology to democracy-as-we-know-it and the implications of these changes for our visions of progessive social change if they are to remain relevant in the digital age.
Right to internet is one of the fundamental human rights, and this right should be included in the constitution, said Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday.
He stressed on developing a strong mechanism to combat cyber crimes and blocking offensive contents on internet.
Free flow of authentic information can play a significant role in empowering people and strengthening democracy, he said.
The minister told a public dialogue titled "Freedom of Expression and the Internet in South Asia: A way forward to ensure people's right" at a hotel in the capital.
Voice for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (Bangladesh), Internet Democracy Project (India), Internet Security Nepal, Point of View (India) and Global Partners and Associates (UK) jointly organised the dialogue.
Referring to the recent Ramu violence, Information Commissioner MA Taher emphasised responsible use of the internet and social media as its misuse can push the society into a situation that created in Ramu.
Third South Asia Meeting on the Internet and Freedom of Expression, will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 14-15 January, 2013. VOICE (Bangladesh), The internet democracy project (India), Internet Society Nepal (Nepal), Point of View (India) and Global Partners and Associates (the UK).
This meeting will be bringing together experts from civil society, business, the research community and other stakeholder groups from the region to discuss the challenges of freedom of expression online.
A workshop on "Challenges for Freedom of Expression on the Internet in Bangladesh: A Way Forward to Ensure People's Right"
A two days workshop on "Challenges for Freedom of Expression on the Internet in Bangladesh: A Way Forward to Ensure People's Right" to be held at the auditorium of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB), on 11-12 January, 2013.
This workshop aims at addressing freedom of expression online, its merits and challenges in detail including the rising visibility of hate speech on the one hand, and the increased attention to combat cyber security by the State and private sector actors, on the other. This arrangement is leading towards uncertainties in context of human rights and shared responsibility for citizens.
Venue: THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF BANGLADESH, 24/C Asad Avenue, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207.
Speakers on a public dialogue demanded not to control the Internet as proposed in the International Telecommunications Revisions to be presented in World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai from 3-14 December. They also urged to the government and International Telecommunication Union to act in favor of Internet’s openness and uphold freedom of expression online.
The dialogue was held at the ERC auditorium of Institute of Engineers Bangladesh at Dhaka on Wednesday 28 November 2012. The event was jointly organized by a rights group VOICE and Internet Society Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter.
The dialogue was attended by former BTRC chairman Sayed Margub Morshed, Vice president of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh Sumon Ahmed Sabir, president of Bangladesh Computer Society, Professor Dr. Mahfuj Islam, Dr. Syed Faisal Hasan president of Internet Society Bangladesh Dhaka chapter, executive director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Research Fellow, Rezaur Rahman Lenin, Head of Alliance Somewherein net ltd. Syeda Gulshan Ferdous Jana, moderator Somewhreinblog, Sharat Chowdhury.
Dialogue on World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT):Challenges for Freedom of Expression Online
VOICE and ISOC Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter is going to organize a public dialogue titled “World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) 2012 and Bangladesh: Challenges for Freedom of Expression Online” at the ERC auditorium, Engineers' Institution Bangladesh (IEB), Ramna, Dhaka on Wednesday 28 November 2012 at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We are pleased to invite you to attend the public dialogue. Distinguished panelists will broadly discuss the key issues. Your presence and valuable contributions will help to formulate a set of recommendation to be presented to the Bangladesh delegations at the WCIT.
If you have any question/clarification, do not hesitate to contact (02-8158688) us.