bytes for all
Interview with Bytes for All Pakistan's Sadaf Baig on expression, opinion and religious freedom in South Asia
“Religion is used throughout the region to gain power and suppress free speech,” Bytes for All Pakistan’s Sadaf Baig said during the Regional Consultation on Expression, Opinion and Religious Freedom in South Asia, which brought together more than 70 human rights defenders, activists and journalists in Jakarta.
The proposed Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill poses serious threats to freedom of expression and privacy in Pakistan. To challenge it, a Charter of Demands has been developed by Bytes for All Pakistan, Media Matters for Democracy, and supporting organisations, APC among them.
“Cyber warfare and cyber security are of immense importance, the government should devise an internet governance policy in Pakistan.” This was one of the conclusions of the Pakistan Cyberspace Conference organised by APC member Bytes for All Pakistan in Islamabad.
A new UN report discussed in Geneva on 25 June 2014, cites the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan as leaders in working to protect freedom of expression online, strengthen the digital security of human rights defenders and end gender-based violence online.
Bytes for All, Pakistan is mourning the devastating loss of Irfan Ali Khudi, a renowned and brave human rights defender from Quetta, Balochistan. Irfan Ali lost his life in a blast last evening during a series of suicide attacks at Rehmat Chowk, Alamdar Road, Quetta.
This campaign launched by APC member Bytes for All from Pakistan is a call for larger human rights movement in the country and citizens to fight the ongoing censorship as it will further take its toll on already compromised civil liberties in the country. All individuals are invited to join the movement and protest by sharing the campaign visuals over the internet.
The Government of Pakistan is working to revive and restructure the cyber crime law, which lapsed in 2009. Stakeholders who are being consulted are corporations such as telecom operators, ISPs, and governmental organisations. However, no representative civil society organisation holds an opinion even though it is a globally accepted norm that governments use a multi-stakeholder process to ensure active participation by civil society.