Update: 22nd Hearing of Internet Freedom Case - Youtube ban remains until review by the Supreme Court of Pakistan

Lahore, 20 November 2014: The 22nd hearing of Internet Freedom Case (aka YouTube case) was held at the Lahore high Court today. The hearing was presided over by Honorable Justice Mansoor Ali Shah along with Honorable Justice Ayesha Malik.  The Honorable Judges had summoned senior officials from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) following their counsel’s statement that they now have the technology to block the offensive video. However, during the hearing today, PTA reverted back to inform that no such technology exists to block access to the problematic video.  

Following this exchange, the Honorable Justice once again issued their earlier directive to seek interpretation of the original Supreme Court decision of September 2012. Bytes for All, following the High Court’s directive, originally issued on 13th May 2014, had written a detailed letter to the Honorable Justice Nasirul Mulk, the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan. In this letter, Bytes for All had requested the Chief Justice “to intervene and resolve, a long standing issue of public importance  that is infringing upon the fundamental rights of the citizens as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.  
 
Following Lahore High Court’s directives in the hearing today, Bytes for All now plans to formally approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan, for a hearing so as to get clarification of the interim orders of the  Supreme Court of Pakistan issued on 17 September 2012,  in the Civil Miscellaneous application 3908/2012. 
 
We pledge to remain indefatigable and keep pushing all possible avenues in the country until the issue of arbitrary censorship and content filtering in Pakistan’s cyberspace is resolved, once for all. 
 
 
 
 
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About Bytes for All, Pakistan
 
Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan is a human rights organization and a network of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals and practitioners. It experiments and organizes debate on the relevance of ICTs for sustainable development and strengthening social justice movements in the country. Its mission is “ICTs for development, democracy and social justice”. www.bytesforall.pk
 
For more information:
 
Bytes for All, Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan
 
email: info[at]bytesforall.pk
Tel. +92 51 2110494-9