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Pemra bars coverage of rallies, public gatherings in Islamabad for Monday

By News Desk
March 28, 2023

By ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Monday barred the television channels from live and recorded coverage of rallies or public gatherings by any party, organisation, or individual being held in the federal capital today.

According to the regulatory body, the prohibition order includes a ban on any procession or rally being staged today in the federal capital under Section 27(a) of the Pemra Ordinance 2002.

In an advisory issued today titled “Prohibition order on live coverage under Section 27 of Pemra Ordinance 2002”, the electronic media regulator stated that it has been observed with concern that satellite TV channels are showing live footage and images of a violent mob, attacks on police and law enforcing agencies.

“Such footages/images were seen on TV screens without any editorial oversight during a recent standoff between political party workers and law enforcing agencies in Lahore wherein, a violent mob used petrol bombs, injuring armless policemen and blazing police vehicles. The live telecast of such footages on different satellite TV channels created chaos and panic among the viewers and Police,” it stated. Pemra also said that such activism by the mob not only jeopardises the law and order situation but also makes public properties and lives vulnerable.

The regulatory body stated that coverage of such content violates the Supreme Court’s judgment. “The competent authority while exercising powers vested under Section 27(a) of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, hereby prohibits live/recorded coverage of any kind of rally, public gathering, procession by any party, organisation and individual, etc. for today i.e. March 27, 2023.” It also warned that in case of non-compliance, the licence shall be suspended under Section 30 (3) of Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, without any show cause notice in the public interest along with other enabling provisions of law.