Govt urged to uphold freedom of speech

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Speakers at a discussion on Thursday urged the government to uphold freedom of speech and to monitor hate speech in Bangladesh.

Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment, also known as VOICE, held the discussion event, titled Responsible Use of Internet and Freedom of Expression, at its civic centre in the capital.

Speakers expressed their concern over the repression of freedom of speech using the Digital Security Act and pointed out how journalists, filmmakers, writers, bloggers and activists had been barred from speaking freely in the internet.

They also expressed concern over the hate speeches flooding through the social media against women and non-Muslims in a secular country like Bangladesh.

The event took place both in-person and online. The meeting was moderated by VOICE executive director Ahmed Mahmud Swapan.

VOICE, a rights and advocacy organisation, organised the event with the support of UNDP Human Rights Programmes.

In the event, IED coordinator Jyoti Chattopaddhay, ACLAB CEO Syed Tarikul Islam, prominent filmmaker Abu Sayeed, activist and independent filmmaker Aparajita Sangeeta, Article 19 technical advisor Nahid A Siddiqui, Udayan Swabolombee Sangstha executive director Shahadat Hossain Mondal and BRAC University teacher Saimum Reza Talukder also spoke on the occasion.




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VOICE was established in 2001. VOICE was established with the mandate of creating linkages not only between policy-makers and the communities at the grassroots level, but also between organizations through partnership, networking, and information exchange in the community.

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