Friday, April 17, 2009

Bangladesh: “Information Is Power”

ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UQ
Tel: (+44) 20 7278 9292 / Fax: (+44) 20 7278 7660
Web: / Email:
For immediate release – 14 April 2009

Bangladesh: “Information Is Power” - ARTICLE 19 and Partners
Launch Mass Awareness Campaign on RTI

ARTICLE 19, Sushashoner Jonno Pracharavijan (SUPRO) and its network
organisations have launched a major mass awareness campaign on the right to
information (RTI) in 20 districts of the country, including the 12 most
environmentally vulnerable coastal areas of Bangladesh.

The campaign includes a series of local level activities such as debates on RTI issues
by school and college students, workshops and meetings with local level public
officials, and rickshaw parades in district towns displaying rickshaw plates with
messages and slogans such as ”Information is Power” and “Free information is the
key to development” and others promoting the new RTI Law in Bangladesh.

With the participation of over three thousand students, the debating competitions
generated huge interest amongst students, teachers, parents, and members of the
school management committees on the right to information, its importance and links
with good governance and access to public services.

For instance, students in the Bhabaniganj High School in the district of Noakhali,
Laxmipur sub-district debated the need for greater access to information on local level
issues in the education department. These included the need for transparency on
registration fees and on government scheme for the subsidised distribution of
education materials. Young boys and girls participated in the competitions with great
enthusiasm. One such female student said: “This competition is an empowering
expression for promoting free flow of information.” Another competitor commented
that “freedom of expression was at the heart to our movement for independence”.

Tahmina Rahman, Director of ARTICLE 19 Bangladesh notes: “ARTICLE 19 and
our partners in Bangladesh, believe that raising massive public awareness on the
right to seek, receive and impart information, to increase demand for information is
the first precondition for the effective implementation of the Right to Information Law
in Bangladesh.”

These events and activities are the start of a year-long campaign promoting the right
to information amongst the most vulnerable populations in Bangladesh. Throughout
the year, ARTICLE 19 and its partners will organise events and promotional activities
as part of its programme of work on access to information for greater participation
and government accountability.

ARTICLE 19, 6-8 Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UQ
Tel: (+44) 20 7278 9292 / Fax: (+44) 20 7278 7660
Web: / Email:
• For more information please contact Tahmina Rahman, Director ARTICLE 19
Bangladesh;; +0171-303-9669.
• ARTICLE 19 is an independent human rights organisation that works around the
world to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression. It takes its name
from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees free

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