This joint submission was prepared after extensive consultations and closed group meetings with civil society organisations (CSOs), the media and the academic community in Bangladesh. Around 30 individuals from these stakeholder groups attended the meetings. The methodology further included extensive monitoring and desk review, and the status of recommendations accepted by the state during the first and second cycles of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) were also reviewed.
In the first cycle in February 2009, 42 recommendations were made, of which Bangladesh accepted 34. Bangladesh received recommendations from Australia and the Netherlands on taking necessary steps to protect freedom of the press and human rights defenders. In April 2013, during the second UPR cycle, Bangladesh accepted 185 out of a total of 232 recommendations under different thematic areas, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press and independent media. Canada, Australia, Austria and the Netherlands made recommendations on freedom of the press, while Norway emphasised the need for a safe and enabling environment for social media, and Canada recommended taking steps to ensure that civil society can operate without intimidation.