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Press Releases written by Voice
[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
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.
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.
[Dhaka, 29 September 2012] Speakers urged the government of Bangladesh to ensure that the right to freedom expression and opinion is upheld on the Internet in a public dialogue held at Dhaka’s press club earlier today. Speakers included Afsan Chowdhury, executive editor of Bdnews24.com; Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, editor in chief and CEO of Boishaki Television; Mostafa Jabber, IT specialist; Akhtaruzzaman Monju, chairman, ISP Association; Tahmina Rahman country director, Artcile-19; Seleem Samad, eminent journalist; and Golam Mortuza, editor, Saptahik. The dialogue on freedom of expression on the internet was organized by VOICE and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, executive director of VOICE moderated the occasion.
Afsan Chowdhury stated that the internet is now a widespread medium of free expression and the State and other powers in society are increasingly fearful of the attention given to alternative views. He argued that internet freedom should not be restricted by any means whilst emphasizing that we must to educate all citizens to build a strong moral ground and respect for others in society. The proposed online media policy would hamper democratic practices and governance processes in the country, he concluded.
[Dhaka, 27 January 2012] `VOICE’ a media advocacy organization calls NGOs, civil society organizations and rights groups to observe Privacy Day (28 January) to uphold privacy and data protection.
We urge the government to ensure people’s right to privacy through building policy coherence and creating an independent privacy commission.
Any interception and surveillance of email, messaging, telephony involving recording the conversations of clients’ messages is illegal for any operator. “Privacy” itself is guaranteed under Article 39(2)(a) and Article 43 of the fundamental rights of the Bangladesh Constitution. Article 33(2)(a) entrenches “the right of every citizen to freedom of speech and expression” and Article 43 guarantees “the privacy of home and correspondence and communications”.
Privacy also guaranteed in Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A perception study on privacy rights conducted recently by VOICE, shows that 83% respondents feel uneasy to share very personal information (e.g. sexual desire) to others while 79% identified income as their 2nd most priority issue that they do not want to disclose and 75% people do not like to share information about their own resources.52% of respondents think that information would be unsafe and to used for another purposes.
“International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights” Demanded New Legal Institutional Framework at Durban UN Talks
[Durban, 6 December 2011] Speakers in a public dialogue said that climate change catastrophe not only pose mortal danger but also lead to the destruction of the means of livelihood which threat to millions of people in the global south to become refugee. Recent studies show that around 30 million people from the coastal areas of Bangladesh, 300 thousand from the Maldives, 10 million from Vietnam, 10 million from Mediterranean Egypt, and 600 thousand from Guyana will be displaced due to loss of land as a result of climate change effects.
The public dialogue organized by the International Campaign on Climate Refugees’ Rights (ICCR) is held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal today while the civil society groups urged the global leaders to form legal framework for the displaced victims--climate refugee.
Ahmed Swapan Mahmud, convenor of the Campaign said“a legal safeguard protocol should be in place to ensure the political, social, cultural and economic rights of the climate refugees by the international community presently meeting under the Conference of Parties (COP-17) here in Durban, South Africa”.
CSOs to Focus on Climate Finance Oversight in Bangladesh
Two day Workshop and a Seminar in South Asia Social Forum Sets the Tone
Dhaka, November 20: CSOs from different parts of Bangladesh converged at a two-day workshop jointly organized by Voice, EquityBD and Bank Information Center has decided to focus more on monitoring the flow of climate finance in the country, insisted the participation of communities at all levels of project planning, implementation and monitoring, and initiated to link with other climate justice movements elsewhere in South Asia to strengthen the movement in Bangladesh.
[Dhaka, Wednesday, 24 August 2011] Speakers in the workshop said that privacy rights should be enshrined in legal framework building a trustworthy and democratic society. They also demanded data protection law to save the citizens from the private and government’s intrusion. The workshop titled ‘Privacy, Security & Public Interest’ has been held at the conference hall of Catholic Bishops of Conference of Bangladesh in the city organized by a rights based research and advocacy organization VOICE. Civil rights activists, women leaders, lawyers and media professionals have called for enactment of a law to protect personal information from intrusion for upholding principles of civil liberty and human rights.