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Wednesday June 19, 2024

AEMEND seeks action against enforced disappearances of journalists

“Pressure is being put to deprive people of their right to information and to show one side of current situation,” says media association

By Web Desk
May 30, 2023
In this file photo, Pakistani human rights activists carry placards during a protest for missing persons to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Lahore. — AFP
In this file photo, Pakistani human rights activists carry placards during a protest for missing persons to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Lahore. — AFP 

The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take notice of the enforced disappearances of journalists. 

"The enforced of any citizen whether they are a political activist or a journalist cannot be supported," said the association in an executive committee meeting. 

"Imran Riaz Khan and other missing journalists should be proceeded against as per the law if they are alleged to have committed a crime, which includes their right to a legal defence. The prime minister of Pakistan must take notice of the disappearance of these journalists and take action so they may be traced as soon as possible."

AEMEND further said that journalists should not become politicised. "The statements and activities of some journalists, anchorpersons and media workers on social media cannot be condoned as journalism."

It added that there has been undeclared censorship, which has been implemented by various state institutions. "Pressure is being put to deprive the people of their right to information and to show one side of the current situation."

AEMEND added: "It has been made difficult to disseminate correct information to people in line with the independent and impartial journalism ethics."

The association said that it carried out a "practical struggle" on the tactics to suppress freedom of expression during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) government.

The executive committee also said that it would contact the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), CPNE (Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors), PFUH (Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists), PBA (Pakistan Broadcasters Association) and other stakeholders, adding that letters will be written to PM Shehbaz, leaders of political parties, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chairman, the Inter-Services Public Relations and the federal government.

It said that a detailed overview of the entire situation will be provided in the letters.

"PM Shehbaz should take serious cognisance of the situation according to his role as the country's chief executive and do whatever is in his power to address the situation by engaging with media stakeholders," demanded AEMEND.