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A workshop on "Challenges for Freedom of Expression on the Internet in Bangladesh: A Way Forward to Ensure People's Right"

By farjana - Posted on 06 January 2013


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. 


Civil Society Dialogue on Post2015 Agenda: Sustainable Development and People’s Priorities from the Ground”

By farjana - Posted on 22 December 2012


We have the pleasure to invite you to a “civil society dialogue on post2015 agenda : sustainable development and people’s priorities from the ground” to be held at Barisal Zilla Parishad auditorium, Bangladesh from 2 pm to 5 pm. on 24 December 2012.

The dialogue aims at bringing the members of the civil society and communities to discuss about the ongoing process of post 2015 and draw priorities for post2015 development framework from the ground realities. The dialogue will jointly be organized by VOICE, Beyond 2015 Bangladesh Hub and Speed Trust, Barisal.


Does private sector focus on real development in Bangladesh?

By farjana - Posted on 21 December 2012

A write up by Farjana Akter and Ahmed Swapan Mahmud questioning the real contribution of private sector in the development of Bangladesh. Authors conlcluded that private sector can only contribute in the real development in Bangladesh, if it maintains country ownership and bring effective development result for poor and vulnerable populations. Please find the source for full article:


On COP 18: Strong political commitment is urgent to save humanity

By farjana - Posted on 07 December 2012



Farjana Akter of VOICE (Bangladesh) writes a pithy and passionate piece for urgent climate action, saying that "exercising rights and justice at their maximum standard are the expectations of the people during the climate talks in Doha."

By Farjana Akter (VOICE, Bangladesh)


The COP 18 opened on 26th November with the demand from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that “Kyoto is essential for a successful outcome in Doha”.  The LDC group, which is composed of 48 nations, represents the most vulnerable countries in terms of catastrophic climate change impacts. Millions of people in LDCs have been experiencing extreme and often disastrous weather conditions for which so called developed and rich countries (Annex I countries) are responsible due to their massive GHG emissions. We, the people from LDCs, are calling to the rich and developed nations to uphold their spirit of responsibility for the damage they have been doing to the rest of the world and to recognize the urgency of the issues related to climate change for the sake of greater human interest and justice.

Speakers on a public dialogue demanded not to control the Internet

By farjana - Posted on 28 November 2012



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

By farjana - Posted on 25 November 2012

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.


Training workshop on `Freedom of expression, social media and the Internet in Bangladesh'

By farjana - Posted on 19 October 2012

VOICE is going to organize a two-day long training workshop on `Freedom of expression, social media and the Internet in Bangladesh' on  which will be held on 20-21 October at CBCB (Catholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh), 24/C Asad Avenue, Mohammadpur,  Dhaka-1207. 

The workshop aims at discussing  around the issues affecting freedom of expression on internet and come up with a set of  recommendations to uphold freedom of opinion and expression online.

The workshop will bring participants from civil society organizations, journalists, rights groups, online groups such as bloggers, face book users, internet experts, youth and human rights defenders etc both from Dhaka and district level.


Bangladeshi media experts demand freedom of expression on online media

By farjana - Posted on 30 September 2012


[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; 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. 

A public dialogue on `Freedom of Expression on Internet in Bangladesh’ to be held on 29 September 2012

By farjana - Posted on 18 September 2012


Dear all,

We have the great pleasure to invite you to a public dialogue titled `Freedom of expression on internet’ to be held on Saturday, 29 September 2012 from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. at the VIP lounge of National Press Club, Dhaka.

The dialogue will broadly discuss around the issues affecting freedom of expression on internet and will put recommendations to facilitate to uphold freedom of opinion and expression online.  

We look forward to your active participation.




Ahmed Swapan Mahmud

Rights group blasts new VAT law

By farjana - Posted on 16 September 2012

Criticising the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for pursuing discredited tax policy in Bangladesh, civil society members at a discussion Saturday urged the government to reconsider new VAT (Value Added Tax) law 2012, which has been prepared to fulfill the IMF conditions, reports UNB.

Although the VAT bill is supposed to be passed in the current parliament session, the prominent citizens said the VAT is regressive to poor, and in respect of taxation policy there should be emphasis on direct tax to reduce tax burden on the poor.

EquityBD, a civil society network of rights groups in Bangladesh, organised the discussion titled 'Revised VAT law 2012 to fulfill IMF Conditionality, a Review: Domestic Resource Mobilisation, VAT and Tax Justice' at the National Press Club in the city.

Moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, the discussion was addressed, among others, by president of Bangladesh Tax Law Association Saha Zikrul Ahmed, MP, Dr Abu Ahmed of Dhaka University, economist Dr Romoni Mohan Debnath, Zakir Hossion Khan of TIB (Transparency International Bangladesh), Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara, Mahbub Hasan of Coastal Development Partnership, Ahmed Swapan of VOICE and Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD.

Ahsanul Karim and Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD jointly delivered keynote 

presentation on the occasion.