Journalists, rights activists slam media muzzles
LAHORE: Journalists and human rights activists have slammed the recent Pemra directions to the media, barring TV channels from covering the voting process and airing comments of political leaders.
They demanded of the government to immediately remove the restrictions, saying these curbs would give a clear message to the international community and the people that the electoral process was not transparent. Talking to The News on Sunday, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Director IA Rehman said the Pemra’s directions were an attack on the freedom of expression. He said the people of Pakistan were already facing chaos and free and transparent elections were a ray of hope for them. “A question mark hangs over the credibility of the general elections after the recent Pemra restrictions,” he added. He said representatives of journalists should hold negotiations with the government to remove these restrictions. “The recent restrictions are a bid to hide something during the voting and they show that you (the government) are going to do something illegal or against the norms of society,” Rehman said. South Asia Partnership (SAP) Coordinator Mohammed Tehseen termed the move unwise, saying the recent Pemra restrictions were aimed at announcing the desired election results, which could have been contradictory to the reports issued by the independent media.
Source: The News