Posted on Aug 18, 2023
Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is gravely concerned by yesterday’s violence against the Christian community of Jaranwala, Faisalabad-Punjab, Pakistan. MRG strongly condemns the attack by the violent mob on Christian community members’ homes and the significant damage caused to a number of churches in the locality.
It urges the authorities to ensure that those responsible for the violence are brought to justice. The Christian community members affected should be offered full compensation and appropriate psychological support to address the resulting trauma. MRG further calls upon the government of Pakistan to respect, protect and promote the right to freedom of religion or belief for all its citizens.
After accusing two Christians of blasphemy, a crowd of hundreds of Muslim men attacked the community. The situation escalated after announcements inciting the...
Posted on Aug 8, 2023
The E-Safety Bill 2023 (the “Bill”) is a hugely problematic piece of legislation, which will stifle freedom of expression and speech in Pakistan if passed in its current form. It will also cripple Pakistan’s nascent digital economy. From its preamble, the Bill claims to protect the fundamental rights of users of Social Network Platforms, foster competition, increase private investment, and safeguard the interests of users concerning e-commerce services and related matters. However, from the detailed examination it is evident that the actual purpose of the Bill differs from its stated objectives
to access complete submission Click here
for draft E-Safety-Bill Click here
Posted on Jul 10, 2023
This statement was delivered on 10 July 2023 by Asif Aqeel in the name of MRG and our partners in Pakistan – Bargad, Bytes for All and Centre for Law and Justice – during the Adoption of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Pakistan at the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Thank you Mr. President,
Minority Rights Group, together with its local partners Bargad, Bytes for All and Centre for Law and Justice have been working to address the very difficult situation facing those of minority faiths or no faith in Pakistan for over 5 years.
We welcome Pakistan’s acceptance of recommendations to put the National Commission for Human Rights in full conformity with the Paris Principle (recommendations 46.80 to 46.90). Pakistan needs a truly independent strengthened human rights and minority rights monitoring institution. We also welcome Pakistan’s...
Posted on Jul 7, 2023
(Islamabad, July 7, 2023): Pakistani citizens have endured 24 network shutdowns in 2022 alone, marking a 58% increase compared to the previous year. Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) raises concerns over the alarming trend of network shutdown infringing upon civil, political and socio-economic rights of Pakistani citizens. Political turmoil, religious observances, security threats, and natural disasters like floods were among other instances of network closures in 2022. B4A has been maintaining a timeline of network shutdowns since the year 2012 at www.killswitch.pk . It is also important to note that Pakistan’s Islamabad High Court had also declared Network Shutdowns to be illegal in a judgement on Feb 26, 2018.
B4A launches the report titled "Pakistan's Network Shutdown Report– An analysis of network shutdowns in Pakistan during 2022". This in-depth report examines the...
Posted on May 8, 2023
Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A) releases annual Internet Landscape Report 2022; sheds light on evolving digital environment and human rights issues in Pakistan.
[Islamabad, 8 May 2023] - Bytes for All, Pakistan (B4A), a prominent digital rights organization, is pleased to announce the launch of its flagship annual report, "Pakistan's Internet Landscape report 2022." The comprehensive report delves into the complex relationship between human rights and information and communication technologies (ICTs) in Pakistan.
The Internet Landscape report serves as a valuable reference document that captures and examines the dynamic digital environment and its impact on various aspects of Pakistani society, including human rights, democracy, the economy, and national security. It aims to offer critical information for all segments of society, and foster meaningful discussions on the...
Posted on Feb 20, 2023
China, under 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–2025), seeks to enhance its technological independence from leading democratic countries, specifically in Information Communication Technology (ICT). Through the Digital Silk Road (DSR), a part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese companies are increasingly providing the digital infrastructure that is essential to any regime of data governance. While analyzing Chinese investment in the digital transformation of South Asian countries mainly Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the study revealed that the investment has not helped build or support egalitarian internet access, instead helped increase the military and security control over the data and circumscribe the freedom of expression and of information through the narrative.
The increased China-Pak cooperation under DSR indicates increased Chinese...
Posted on Aug 12, 2022
Islamabad, (16 August 2022): Bytes for All (B4A) in collaboration with the International Minority Rights Group (MRG) has launched a report “Expression vs Hate Speech: A case study of Pakistani digital media” that focuses on the prevailing practices of Pakistani digital media vis-à-vis online hate speech against religious minorities. The study concludes that Pakistani digital media lacks in regulating users’ hateful commentary on their platforms, which often results in incitement to violence targeting vulnerable faith-based groups.
The core objective of this report is to stir a debate among digital media practitioners both the digital media and the legacy media on this important issue and to generate increased attention to and steps taken to counter this. Journalism is a profession bound to its ethical code of conduct and global good practices. The ethics also call upon the...