Government should immediately de-notify Citizen’s Protection Rules

Posted on Feb 13, 2020

Islamabad, (Feb 13, 2020): Bytes for All, Pakistan is concerned over the newly introduced draconian “rules” to regulate social media in Pakistan. The Rules are an attack on economic rights and civil liberties including free speech, online associations, peaceful assemblies and right to privacy. The rules are being imposed arbitrarily in the name of regulating online platforms and protecting citizens from online harm. It appears that the intent of the State behind formulating and approving Rules is malicious, and instead providing protection to the citizens from the dangers of technologies, they will be yet another attempt to control cyberspace in Pakistan. These rules will have far reaching implications on small, medium and large information technology businesses in the country, who heavily rely on social media marketing, such as online stores, tourism businesses, and rural economy. In...

Digital Dangers and Capacities

Posted on Feb 13, 2020

The baseline study explores the dangers in digital communication surrounding the human rights defenders owing to the nature of their work in all provinces of Pakistan. In addition to narrating the dangers around their work, it also provides a comparative analysis on the capacities in order to mitigate the risks.The findings of the research focus on guiding and promoting the concepts of digital literacy and incorporation of safety protocols for the HRDs across Pakistan.

Hashtag Dangerous Speech

Posted on Dec 16, 2019

This report takes an account of hate expressions including labels, titles, and stereotypes used in routine for people belonging to minority religion. The analysis help understand the nature of faith-based dangerous messages in Pakistan’s Twittersphere and their impacts. Digital data scraper tools were used to monitor and analyze the bulk of messages by developing and training the scraper on keywords relevant to dangerous speech. The report provides a quick glance of the nature of hate speech being spewed, the influencers' role in amplifying message and the analogy between the contemporary events and the ongoing debate on Twitter.

India: Democratic rights must be respected and protected in Jammu and Kashmir

Posted on Aug 6, 2019

(Kathmandu/Bangkok, 6 August 2019) – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its members are deeply concerned over the developments in India administered Jammu and Kashmir, where, over the last few days, fundamental human rights have been severely curtailed. We also condemn the outright revocation of Article 370 and its allied Bills, which was passed yesterday by executive orders without following a consultative process.

Article 370 provides special status to Jammu and Kashmir, which includes the power of self-governance. This was a foundational constitutional compact and an important provision to provide confidence to the Kashmiris. Similar special status was awarded to other States, such as Nagaland and Manipur under Articles 371A and 371C of...

Promoting citizen journalism and ending information darkness is the key to development

Posted on May 3, 2019

Islamabad, May 3, 2019: The control over electronic media as well as online media has been increasingly damaging the independent and ethical journalism in Pakistan. This is evident from the several globally known rankings, which should be a major cause of concern for democracy in the country. Quite a few TV channels and newspapers were forced to shut down their operations in the past year due to financial constraint as they lost most of their viewers due to controls and self-censorship.

With increasing controls and silencing of mainstream media, the spaces for free expression and opinion are rapidly shrinking. On social media, the activities of journalists, bloggers and writers are being surveilled and targeted through cyber armies, which often result in self-censorship....

PakVoices launches AAPCJ

Posted on Apr 29, 2019

Islamabad, (April 29, 2019): Pakvoices.pk, a community media initiative has launched AAPCJ (Association of All Pakistan Citizen Journalists) for digital media entrepreneurs, citizen journalists and practitioners. AAPCJ’s main aim is to promote alternative media spaces in the country and to further the cause of freedom of expression, opinion, association and assembly in online spaces.

AAPCJ aspires to be a membership-led independent platform, construed to promote solidarity amongst the digital media activists and practitioners. Through this platform, digital media practitioners and activists will be provided with opportunities along with relevant discussions held to protect and promote their work. AAPCJ endeavors to bring together digital media practitioners,...