HRCP slams Pemra for muffling media -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

HRCP slams Pemra for muffling media

KARACHI (September 28 2007): The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is deeply concerned with the gradual but consistent muffling of the media, says a press release. The advice is being frequently issued to limit the freedom of the press.

The recent directions issued by Pemra debarring private TV channels from covering the submission of election papers by Presidential candidates is discriminatory towards non-State owned TV channels and a blatant attempt to keep the public misinformed. A free media must openly discuss issues of national importance.

Pemra has prohibited the media from raising any issue that is sub judice, thus narrowing down the freedom of media to a large extent. The judiciary has the powers to issue contempt of court notices to the media independently and it is not the role of Pemra to decide which discussion falls within the ambit of contempt of court.

By imposing a sweeping ban, Pemra has clearly violated the freedom of expression of those appearing on electronic-media, the Press and the working journalists.

The HRCP said the government should withdraw from its highhandedness and allow all media to cover the important events surrounding the Presidential elections. It also condemned the arrest of bonded labourers and labour leader Farooq Tariq who joined the peaceful rally of Lahore lawyers.-
Source: Business Recorder
Date:9/28/2007