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Tuesday June 18, 2024

HRCP alarm over Pemra bill

By Our Correspondent
July 22, 2023

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan is concerned that the proposed PEMRA Amendment Act 2022 has assigned the regulator the role of disseminating what it terms ‘authentic’ news in a bid to curb disinformation.

The HRCP said in a statement Friday: “While any responsible journalist is honour-bound to eschew false information intended to deliberately create harm, we are concerned that the given definition of ‘disinformation’ in this bill strays into censorship territory and may allow powerful groups or individuals to stonewall journalists seeking both sides of a story.

“This violates Article 19 of the Constitution, protecting freedom of expression. While the bill takes an important step in protecting electronic media workers’ salaries—a longstanding demand of media trade unions and rights activists—it should be reviewed to ensure that media practitioners’ salaries are paid within 30 rather than 60 days, in keeping with labour laws,” the statement concluded.