ICJ participation in discussion on rule of law in Bangladesh

The ICJ’s International Legal Adviser, Reema Omer, participated in a panel discussion on ‘Rule of Law in Bangladesh’, convened on 19 June 2014 in the margins of the Human Rights Council’s 26th regular session in Geneva.

The event was co-sponsored by the Asian Legal Resource Centre, CIVICUS, FIDH, OMCT and Human Rights Watch and was moderated by Mr Mandeep Tiwana, Head of Policy and Research for CIVICUS. Panelists included Mr Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary of Odhikar; Mr M.D. Ashrafuzzaman, Urgent Appeals Programme Coordinator of the Asian Legal Resource Centre; Mr Gerald Staberock, Secretary General of OMCT; and Ms Reema Omer, International Legal Adviser of the ICJ’s Asia Pacific Regional Programme.

The ICJ’s intervention focussed on the incompatibility of the Bangladesh Information and Communication Technology Act 2006 (ICTA) and its 2013 amendments with international human rights law and standards. Based on the ICJ’s briefing paper on the ICTA from November 2013, and referring to recent cases, Reema Omer highlighted how the Act and its amendments amount to an assault on the freedom of expression and a stifling of public discourse. Her intervention also spoke of the judiciary’s responsibility to prevent such attacks on freedom of expression.

Bangladesh-ICT-Brief-2013 (download the ICJ’s briefing paper on the ICTA)

ICJ press release of 20 November 2013 concerning the ICTA