MEDIA RELEASE: PAKISTAN

Pakistan mulls censorship of TV contents

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is seriously concerned over the reports that the Pakistan government is mulling amendment in a law to empower the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PERMA) for blocking the transmission of TV contents.

According a report published in Dawn, the government had discussed a possible amendment to the PERMA Act 2007 and the amendment had been drafted and shared with some officials and legal experts.

The amendments, if implemented, would empower the PERMA to ‘de-link’ the signals of a specific television channel towards any satellite, which would ensure that no cable operator or television set gets the broadcast. The PERMA is state authority, which in past has acted arbitrarily to impose suspension and heavy fines on television stations for their contents.

The IFJ believes that providing such legal and arbitrary way to a state authority is contradictory to the fundamental principles of democracy and free press.

The IFJ said: “Censorship of any kind or in any logic is unacceptable and a gross violation of human rights and democratic principles. Any arbitrary power to block or censor contents of any media is contrary to freedom of expression and will gauge independent media making the democracy in Pakistan suffer.” 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

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