World Press Freedom Day: Government urged to defend media freedom
LAHORE: The Centre for Human Rights Education-Pakistan, on the Eve of World Press Freedom Day 2014, has expressed deep concerns over the trends of suppression of media and attacks on journalists in Pakistan.
In his message on the occasion, CHRE Director Samson Salamat urged the government to defend media freedom and ensure the safety and security of journalists who are under threat from one corner or the other.
Samson said, “Freedom of expression is a democratic value and is guaranteed by the International Human Rights Standards including the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Therefore, people’s right to freedom of expression and other fundamental freedoms should be protected and respected.”
Samson further added that the constitution of Pakistan is the supreme and guiding document, and therefore all the institutions should fulfil their responsibilities within the limits defined in the country’s supreme document.
While applauding the role of Pakistani journalists, Samson said that they had contributed significantly to enhancing public support for democratic values and human rights, and therefore the government must do its maximum to create an environment where the journalists could continue to work without any fear.
He, on behalf of the CHRE, on the Eve of World Press Freedom Day, demanded that the government must ensure that all the abuses committed against journalists were impartially investigated and that appropriate action was taken against the perpetrators, while the public was provided with the correct information of the investigations.
He also demanded that the government must also defend press freedom as an important component of freedom of expression guaranteed under Pakistan’s constitution and the International Human Rights Standards, including Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). “Pakistan has signed and ratified the ICCPR and therefore is duty-bound to fulfil its commitments.”