Journalists protest on HR day

journalists protest - DAWNDAWN Call to remove media curbs

ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: Journalists in different parts of the country observed the International Human Rights Day, on a call of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and held rallies, demonstrations and seminars against the curbs on media and the promulgation of two anti-press laws.

Rallies were held in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Quetta and other parts of the country in which lawyers, members of the civil society and students also participated and expressed solidarity with the PFUJ in its going protest campaign.

In Islamabad, the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) brought out a rally from the press club to GEO TV offices. A large number of journalists, lawyers, students and civil society members took part in the protest.
In Lahore, the Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) held a seminar and brought out joint processions with lawyers and human rights activists.
In Peshawar, a rally was organised by the Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), while a seminar was organised by the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ).

IFJ MESSAGE: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), in a statement, said the government should restore the economic, professional and basic human rights of journalists. “Journalists in Pakistan are continuing to demonstrate their commitment to uphold the media freedom that is crucial to secure democracy in any country,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. “Now is the time for the Government to realise that these journalists know and understand their rights and will continue protesting until they are restored.”

Daily Times Journalists reiterate their commitment for free media   ISLAMABAD: Around 200 journalists of the twin cities held a rally in front of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club to press the government to remove curbs on media on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day on Monday. The rally was organised on the call of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ). Members of the civil society, lawyers and students also attended the rally to express solidarity with the journalists, who marched from the press club to the offices of banned GEO channel on Jinnah Avenue. The protestors, carrying placards inscribed with their demands for reinstatement of sacked judges and lifting of the state of emergency, raised anti-state slogans and criticised the government for promulgating ordinances to discourage media from playing its constructive role. They alleged the government had imposed ban on media, as it was afraid of the factual reports about the missing people and the “so-called war against terrorism”. It is unfair to curb media, as the freedom of expression is people’s fundamental right, they said.Addressing the rally, PFUJ Secretary General Mazhar Abbass stressed the government and Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to restore the freedom of press and lift ban from the electronic as well as print media. He said the PFUJ had started its struggle for free media on August 2, 1950 and will continue to do so without bothering about any restrictions, he said. Abbass said PEMRA had no right to introduce the code of conduct to the journalists as the authority itself lacked practicing journalists on its panel.Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists President Afzal Butt urged the journalists to participate actively in the ongoing movement. “It is a wrong perception of the government that it can handicap the media,” he said. Butt criticised the political parties for trying to squash the media for their own purposes in the past. He said the legal fraternity and civil society activists were backing the journalists, who were also striving to restore the constitution. A heavy contingent of police was also deployed there to deal with any untoward incident.

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