UPR 14: Freedom of expression, online censorship and the review of Pakistan

On Monday, October 22nd, the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) began the 14th session of its Working Group, reviewing the human rights situation in 14 countries, and reporting on the implementation of recommendations and pledges made in the first review of these countries.

Bytes for All Pakistan, in collaboration with APC and Freedom House, developed a civil society submission in June 2012, for the UPR Working Group review of Pakistan, which takes place on Tuesday October 30th.

In May 2012, APC supported participation in the 13th session of the UPR by APC members and affiliates from Ecuador, India, Brazil, South Africa and the Philippines, following civil society submissions made in late 2011.

While a number of internet-related recommendations were made to States during the 13th session of the UPR Working Group, the review of Pakistan marks the first instance of an advanced written question posed to a State under Review (SuR) on the restriction of freedom of expression and opinion on the internet.

Specifically, the Netherlands has asked: “Are governmental policies to restrict freedom of opinion on the internet subject to judicial scrutiny? What is the record of Pakistan’s legal system applying the limitative ICCPR criteria for restriction of freedom of opinion on the internet?”

Follow the UPR live here: http://t.co/Rky5hspX and stay connected to this space for updated information on the review of Pakistan and the 14th session of the UPR Working Group.