Speakers term cyber crime law ‘invasion of privacy’
It is distressing that in many parts of the country citizens are being asked to get permission and no-objection certificates from the authorities for exercising their right to assemble peacefully and to discuss human rights and other issues. Speakers said this while addressing a seminar ‘no right without right to freedom of expression’ which was organized by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on the occasion of Human Rights Day on Saturday.
The seminar was addressed by noted human rights activist IA Rehman, Aasma Jahangir, Mehdi Hassan and analyst Ahmad Rashid. The speakers termed the cyber crime law as invasion of privacy and freedom of expression. They said bodies like the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) should be established according to the international standards of freedom of expression. It is the state’s obligation that it should protect journalists and right defenders from violence and threats.
Speaking on this occasion, IA Rehman said there is no right to freedom of expression without right to know. He said that the reason behind disintegration of Pakistan in 1971 was that people were not aware of the actual situation of the country. If they want to avoid such incidents in future, there should be no restriction on freedom of expression, he suggested.
Aasma Jahangir said that journalists are not serious on the issue of freedom of expression as no program was telecasted on the issue of PEMRA Rules 2015. She suggested them to play a vibrant role against laws against freedom of expression. She said right to protest does not exist in Balochistan. Ahmad Rashid said there seems a media war going on in the country. A big media cell was established at Prime Minister House and they also witnessed expansion of the ISPR. He said by using twitter for conveying information on war-on-terror and foreign policy, they were depriving journalists from their right to asking question.