Speakers at a discussion programme Thursday urged the government to monitor hate speech in Bangladesh and bring the perpetrators under justice.
They said hate speeches are flooding through the social media against women and religious minority in a secular country like Bangladesh.
The speakers also expressed their concern over the repression of freedom of speech using Digital Security Act and pointed out how journalists, filmmakers, writers, bloggers and activists have been barred from speaking through internet.
Voices for Interactive Choice and Empowerment (VOICE), a rights and advocacy organisation with the support of UNDP Human Rights Programmes organised the event.
The event titled ‘Responsible Use of Internet and Freedom of Expression’ took place both in-person and online.
Ahmed Mahmud Swapan, executive director of VOICE moderated the discussion.
Jyoti Chattopaddhay, coordinator at IED, Syed Tarikul Islam, CEO of ACLAB; prominent filmmaker Abu Sayeed, activist and independent filmmaker Aparajita Sangeeta, Nahid A Siddiqui, technical advisor, Article 19, Shahadat Hossain Mondal, executive director, Udayan Swabolombee Sangstha and Saimum Reza Talukder, senior lecturer BRAC University, among others spoke on the occasion.
A keynote presentation at the beginning of the programme was delivered by Zayed Siddiki, filmmaker and project coordinator of VOICE and Abtab Khan Shawon, programme officer of VOICE.
The keynote briefly discussed the problems faced online and discouraged hate speeches against women and content blocking and censorship against books and films.
The discussion highlighted the whole picture of the human rights situation in Bangladesh and the government’s urgent need to address the issues to ensure freedom of speech for everyone.