B4A rejects Punjab Defamation Bill 2024

Posted on May 21, 2024

B4A rejects Punjab Defamation Bill 2024, terms an attack on digital rights and journalistic freedoms

Islamabad, (May 21, 2024): Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan, strongly denounces the passage of the Punjab Defamation Bill 2024, believing it threatens to harm the constitutional right to free speech in online spaces. This bill designed with malintent to combat fake news essentially is antithesis to human rights principles and is tantamount to stifling online speech and journalistic profession.

It is critical to acknowledge that fighting the challenges posed by the fake news and disinformation cannot be accomplished by criminalizing online...

State of Online Blasphemy Cases and Unfolding Legal Saga

Posted on Apr 19, 2024

State of online blasphemy cases: Enabling blasphemy accused to access legal remedies, revisiting legal framework

(Islamabad, April 2024) – A new report by Bytes for All, Pakistan, a leading digital rights organization, sheds light on the concerning rise of online blasphemy cases in Pakistan and the ongoing legal challenges. Titled "State of Online Blasphemy Cases and Unfolding Legal Saga" the report delves into Pakistan's legal framework surrounding blasphemy and its impact on online religious expression.

The report highlights that the rise of the internet has led to an increase in blasphemy prosecutions in Pakistan. Social media platforms are often used...

PTA’s Geo-Blocking: HTTP Interception Tactics to Bar “X” Via possible Akamai’s Infrastructure

Posted on Feb 23, 2024

X (formerly Twitter) a prominent social media platform has been inaccessible in Pakistan as of February 17, 2024. This report aims to analyze the blocking mechanism employed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to restrict access to X within the country. Through a detailed analysis of network traffic data and traceroute examinations, this study aims to understand the methods employed by PTA for censorship, their implications, and the broader context of internet censorship in Pakistan. Analysis of network traffic captured during attempted access to X reveals the blocking mechanism utilized by the PTA, which are discussed below in the results section.

Download report here


Posted on Feb 7, 2024

It has come to light that Khaleej Magazine, a self-proclaimed international media organization, has been engaging in deceptive practices to promote the agenda of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Pakistan. By disguising itself as a UAE-based media entity, Khaleej Magazine aimed to wield influence and create a false perception of international media interest in Imran Khan.

for report Click here

MRG condemns violence against Jaranwala Christians in Pakistan

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...

E-Safety Bill, 2023 - Submission to The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication

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

Pakistan must honour its commitment to end discrimination against religious minorities

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...