HRCP slams ban on foreign news channels as arbitrary, futile

December 02, Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called the banning of BBC and other foreign news channels across Pakistan in the last few days arbitrary, futile and a violation of citizens’ right to information and freedom of expression.

A statement issued by the Commission on Friday said: “The ‘unofficial’ ban on BBC and other foreign news channels by cable operators across the country is a matter of grave concern because it is not only an utterly unacceptable denial of access to viewers but also a flagrant violation of the right to information and freedom of expression. In today’s world such attempts to bar access to information are also futile. HRCP notes with dismay that the government has also not acted to prevent this arbitrary blocking of foreign news channels despite the lapse of a number of days.

If any quarter has any grievance against the broadcasters then other options, such as legal recourse, are available. HRCP urges immediate corrective measures by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and the Ministry of Information to end the ban on these channels and also proceed against those responsible in order to prevent a recurrence.”

Zohra Yusuf

Chairperson

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