Geneva, June 2013: Here is the text of Oral Statement delivered by Bytes for All, Pakistan at 23rd Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council under Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Mr. Frank La Rue. This statement was delivered on behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and larger human rights movement in Asia Region.
Statement Starts: Thank you, Mr. President. FORUM-ASIA appreciates the report of the Special Rapporteur, Mr. La Rue (A/HRC/23/40), and echoes his alarm over the vague and unspecified notions of “national security” which is a typical justification by States for the interception of and access to communications in many countries, including in Asia. In Indonesia, the Law on State Intelligence 2011 contains unclear provisions that allow for violations of freedom of expression, such as arbitrary wire-tapping. In Pakistan, the Telecommunications (Reorganisation) Act 1996 gives the government broad and largely unrestricted powers to issue decrees to curb free speech.
 13th Session of the UPR Working Group, Joint Submission by the Indonesian Civil Society Coalition, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session13/ID/JS3_UPR_IDN_S13_2012_JointSubmission3_E.pdf
 FORUM-ASIA, “Internet and Social Media in Asia: Battleground for Freedom of Expression” (2012), http://www.forum-asia.org/uploads/press-release/2012/July/Freedom-of-Expression-and-Social-Media-LOWRES.pdf
 Bytes for All, “Privacy rights violations challenged in Lahore High Court”, 8 May 2013, http://content.bytesforall.pk/node/100
 Citizen Lab and Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, “For Their Eyes Only: The Commercialization of Digital Spying”, https://citizenlab.org/storage/finfisher/final/fortheireyesonly.pdf
 FORUM-ASIA, Press Release, “Malaysia: Drop Charges against Activists and Organisers of Post-Elections Rallies, End Crackdown on Freedoms of Expression and Peaceful Assembly”, 28 May 2013, http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=16242
 FORUM-ASIA, Press Release, “Bangladesh: Arrest of the Bloggers and Editor – Government Must Refrain from Muzzling Freedom of Expression”, 18 April 2013, http://www.forum-asia.org/?p=16151