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PHC declares Swat Press Club sealing notification illegal

November 11, 2021

MINGORA: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Mingora Bench on Wednesday declared the notification of sealing the Swat Press Club building illegal and an attempt to curb freedom of expression.

The bench consisted of Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Waqar Ahmad.

It declared that the notification issued from the office of Secretary Information Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on March 27, this year was illegal and an attempt to curb the freedom of expression. The court in its short order said the freedom of expression had been guaranteed in Article 19 of the Constitution and it cannot be curbed.

“The protection of journalists and freedom of expression is the responsibility of the state. Interference in journalists’ affairs by the state is not acceptable”, Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim remarked, adding that democracy and freedom of expression were inter-related.

The counsel for the Swat Press Club, Aurangzeb Khan advocate, argued that the role of the journalists was that of a watchdog.