The free flow of information is being disrupted in Bangladesh, said British human rights body ARTICLE 19.
“Bangladesh is now experiencing the trend of shrinking the flow of information in its system. In order to uphold human rights and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 16.10, in the country, the free flow of information is essential,” it said in a press release yesterday.
ARTICLE 19 issued the release on the occasion of the International Day for Universal Access to Information. This year, the Unesco marks the day with the theme “Access to Information: Leaving No One Behind”.
Faruq Faisel, Bangladesh and South Asia regional director of ARTICLE 19, which defends and promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information, said, “There is no alternative to the free flow of information in achieving human rights and SDG goals.”
“In Bangladesh, it appears that the lawmakers are prone to obstructing the flow of free information through enactment of controversial law [Digital Security Act-2018] and government officials by issuing notices; which is against international standards and commitment. We are concerned that if these issues are not addressed, Bangladesh might lag behind in achieving global development goals,” he said.
It said Bangladesh is still struggling to ensure the free flow of information as per international norms and standards.
ARTICLE 19 calls on the government to uphold its constitution in recognising right to freedom of speech, opinion, and information by repealing all restrictions on the right to information.
The rights organisation said it believes that establishing the right to information is essential for a transparent and accountable government and administration, which will eventually accelerate the Vision-2021 of the government to make “Digital Bangladesh”.
Updated On: September 30, 2019