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‘NHRC should maximise benefits of technology’

FE REPORT | April 03, 2024 00:00:00

Speakers at a view-exchange meeting have opined that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) should make maximum use of information technology including social media to strengthen the involvement of journalists in human rights issues.

Free flow of information, and communication systems should be facilitated, and there was no alternative to maximum use of technology to this effect, they said.

They came up with the remarks while speaking at the view-exchange meeting on 'The Role of Journalists in Protecting Human Rights' organised by National Human Rights Commission at a hotel in the city on Tuesday.

Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, presided over the meeting. Syed Borhan Kabir, Executive Director of Pariprekshit, presented a keynote paper at the program.

Anwarul Haque, UNDP's Assistant Resident Representative in Bangladesh, Shyamal Dutta, General Secretary of the Jatiya Press Club, NHRC's Member Md Salim Reza, its Secretary Sebastin Rema, Director (Admin and Finance) Kazi Arfan Ashik, among others, delivered speeches at the event.

Journalists from different media outlets also placed their opinions at the meeting.

In response to a query Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed said, "Many activities of police and other law enforcers in our country are direct violation of human rights. It is necessary to provide proper training to the law enforcers regarding human rights issues."

He further said law enforcers arrested at least 800 restaurant employees after the Bailey Road Fire in the city although most of them were not responsible for it. It was a clear violation of human rights, he added.

In the keynote paper Syed Borhan Kabir said, "Human rights are not protected in any country in the world. Those who are responsible for protecting human rights are now being identified as human rights violators.

Human rights violations at the hands of rulers from country to country today stand as a normal occurrence. Violations of human rights have challenged good governance, democracy and accountability."

He suggested proper training for the journalists regarding human rights issues so that they could know about relevant laws before reporting on it. And in this regard NHRC can play a vital role.

He demanded legal protection for the journalists who would address the human rights issues.

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Shyamal Dutta said, "Our country took birth through human rights violations and it was unprecedented. Another worst human rights violation took place in 1975. An indemnity ordinance was accepted so that trial of the killing cannot happen."

The national press club Secretary further said that he sometimes got confused on what mass media was. Referring that there were 1200 dailies and 10500 online portals in the country he said these should be brought under a framework, otherwise human rights violations might happen by these media.

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