You are hereCampaigns / Right to Communication
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.
The proposal was placed before representatives of the social media platform on the sidelines of the international police chiefs conference in Dhaka on Monday.
Social networking giant Facebook has refused to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Police, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque has revealed.
“Bangladesh wanted to sign an MoU with Facebook, however they refused as such deals are against their policy,” the IGP said. “However, they assured us that they would cooperate with Bangladesh police whenever required.”
The IGP added that, while no MoU would be signed, representatives of the social media site said they would discuss the proposed measures placed before them by the Bangladesh Police.
Earlier on Monday, Bangladesh Police asked Facebook authorities to demand additional identification, including NID numbers, from Bangladesh nationals who want to sign up to the social network.
The proposition was raised during a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh Police and Facebook representatives on the sidelines of the ongoing conference of police chiefs of South Asia, as many militants are found to have been radicalised through social media.
The cabinet yesterday approved the National Broadcast Policy-2014, keeping much scope for the government to misuse the policy in the name of maintaining standard of news, programmes and advertisements in the electronic media.
Once in force, all contents of radio and television will come under strict government monitoring.
False, discriminatory and misleading information and statistics must be avoided in news and programmes, according to the draft policy.
Media professionals and experts oppose any policy that may curb the independence of the mass media.
“We expected a cooperative broadcasting policy, not a regulatory one,” said Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, chief editor of Boishakhi television, when asked about the draft.
Some main features of the policy include upholding the spirit of the Liberation War, protecting the country's language, culture and values as well as broadcasting news related to the development.
Briefing reporters, Cabinet Secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan claimed the policy was made to ensure freedom of speech, free flow of information, social responsibility of the media and have independent and responsible mass media flourish.
DON'TS FOR THE MEDIA
The policy will restrict the airing of programmes that satirise national ideals, undermine people and harm the unity and solidarity of the country.
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.
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.
[Dhaka, 22 September 2013] Speakers told that the ICT Act (amendment) 2013 sharply conflicts with Bangladesh Constitution’s Article 39 and 43 which guarantee freedom of expression and right to privacy respectively. Terming it as a ‘black law’, speakers urged the government not to enact as a law. A press conference titled ‘ICT Act (Amendment) 2013: Challenges for Right to Privacy and Freedom of Expression’ was held by VOICE in the city’s national press club today while it was jointly collaborated with Bangladesh Manobadhikar Shangbadik forum, Campaign on Citizen’s Right to Information, Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum, Somewherein.net Blog, Online Knowledge Society, Shushashoner Jonyo Procharabhijan (SUPRO) and School of Communication and Cultural Metaphysics.
Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, CEO, Boishaki Television, Khairuzzaman Kamal, Executive Director, Bangladesh Manobadhikar Shangbadik Forum, Zakir Hossain, Executive Director of Nagorik Uddog and Convener of Campaign on Citizen Right to Information, Syeda Gulshan Ferdous Jana, Acting Managing Director, Somewherein.net Blog and, Farjana Akhter, Programme Coordinator, Voice spoke at the press briefing while Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, Executive Director of Voice moderated the session.
Statement: Proposed Amendments to the Information and Communication Technology Act Violates Privacy and Human Rights
ALREADY a repressive law, the existing ICT Act-2006 is being further blackened by the government through approving the proposed draft of its amendment styled ICT (Amendment) Ordinance-2013. Worse still, the proposed draft Act has made non-cognisable offences in the existing law cognisable, abolished the provision of bail and increased the extent of punishment to 14 years in prison.
On the flipside, it also provides the police with unrestricted power to arrest any person suspected of breaking the law without issuing warrant. It will constrict freedom of thought and thereby democracy.
In line with our consistent position against vesting arbitrary power in the law-enforcers’ hand, we express our strong reservation against the proposed amendment to the ICT Act.
A public dialogue on ‘Challenges of Privacy and Security in Bangladesh: Perspective from Human Rights Defenders’ was held on Sunday, 30 June 2013 at the CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka. The dialogue was organized by VOICE in association with Law Life Culture, Bangladesh Manobadhikar Sangbadik Forum; Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum, Campaign on Citizen Right to Information; Equity and Justice Working Group; Online Knowledge Society, Sushashoner Jonno Procharavijan (SUPRO); School of Communications and Cultural Metaphysics. Eminent leaders and journalists including Khushi Kabir, Women Leader, and Coordinator of Nijera Kori; Mahmdur Rahman Manna, Politician, Saiful Haque, general secretary of The Revolutionary Workers Party, Dr. Shahriar Rahman of Asia Pacific University spoke in the panel among others.
The panelists discussed the issues of privacy, national security and along with the existing institutional practices on legal and policy regulations to rise with the human rights framework. They also discussed the recent criminalization of right to freedom of expression and privacy and raised on 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.