Pemra bans airing crime shows, raid-based programmes -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pemra bans airing crime shows, raid-based programmes from first of Ramazan

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Friday decided to ban re-enactment of crime shows, raids violating privacy of the people, telecast names of rape victims on electronic media from first of Ramazan. Addressing a press conference here Chairman Pemra Absar Alam said that the Authority had been receiving complaints from the viewers about telecast of murder, robbery, suicide incidents especially re-enactments of such criminal activities and programmes depicting violation of human rights granted in the Constitution. He said that Pemra Authority had given the powers to itschairman to suspend licences of those channels which made such violations after the advent of Ramazan.

Neither the news and current affairs channels nor the entertainment channels would be allowed to telecast, re-enactment or drama scenes of such crimes as law enforcement agencies have reported that countless youth involved in crimes have disclosed that they learned the methods of crime from TV screen, the chairman said.He also said that Punjab Assembly through a resolution, Islamabad High Court through its verdict and National Assembly and Senate standing committees have also advised the Authority to take stern action against such violations. He said that in future there would also be a ban on revealing the name and telecast footage of a rape victim and airing of interviews of her relatives.

Absar Alam said that proprietors of satellite channels have been reminded time and again about such violations but unfortunately no heed was paid by them. He said that the Authority after thorough deliberations on the issue in various meetings decided to take stern action against such violators, impose ban on such programmes. He clarified that this ban would not affect investigative reporting within the ambit of constitution, journalistic ethics and terms of conditions in this regard would be notified very soon. He clarified that this ban would not affect the freedom of expression granted in Article 19 of the Constitution.

Earlier a detailed presentation was also given to highlight steps taken by the Authority during past five months to remove hurdles in resolution of problems being faced by the satellite channels. He said that licencing process for cable network had been liberalized and process for bidding of Direct to Home (DTH) system had been restarted. He said that during the past five months 35 advice, 13 warnings and 25 show cause notices were issued to various satellite channels. Since December 2015 three licenses were suspended while fine worth Rs 3.85 million were imposed on the electronic media. During this period 152 complaints were referred to Council of Complaintsout of which action was taken on 134, he mentioned. He said that an advisory had already been issued to all TV channels to uphold the sanctity of the Holy month of Ramazan and do not telecast anything against its sanctity.

To a question he said that DTH and digitalization of cable network would help Pemra to control violations of Code of Conduct in a better way. Action against illegal Indian DTH dishes would also be taken in a systematic manner and its import would be controlled the chairman warned.Replying to a question the chairman said that the Authority was considering to amend rules and increase amount of fine for violations as suspension of licence affects the employees of the channels.

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