Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), will “protest” on the International Human Rights Day, on Monday, December 10, saying continued curbs on media, ban on GEO, Royal tv and FM-99, have not only threatened the employment of over 5,000 newspapers employees but also the freedom of expression in the country and general elections without free media would be farce.
PFUJ, the representative body of the journalists urged the government to life the ban on GEO, Royal and FM-99, withdraw the amendments in the Registration of Printing and Publication Ordinance, RPPO, 2002 and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, PEMRA.
“Journalists in Pakistan have been deprived from their basic fundamental rights as well as economic rights,” it said.
PFUJ’s affiliated bodies will “protest,” by holding seminars, demonstrations and rallied the International Human Rights Day.
” If government has any case against GEO, Royal and the two FMs or has complaint against any newspaper they must come out in public and move to the court instead of isolating them and refusing to withdraw the ban,” PFUJ said.
PFUJ lauded the efforts of lawyers and civil society and thank for their support to the journalist’s movement. It also demanded release of all the detained lawyers and civil society representatives.
PFUJ also warned tv channel and newspaper owners that if they remained silent over these ban, tomorrow they can face similar pressures and its time they must rise to the occasion.
“Ban under arbitrary orders as issued on November 3, against the channels or FMs, in the name of violating the so called code of conduct has raised serious question about government intentions for fair and transparent elections,” it said.
“People have been deprived from their right to know through illegal order and it must be withdrawn,” pfuj said.
Thousands of newspaper employees have already been deprived from their basic rights within the organisations due to the non-implementation of the 7th Wage Award, contractual employment and working on salaries fixed in 1996, and on the other hand government has threatened jobs of thousands more by bringing curbs on the media.
PFUJ urged both government and media owners to respect the rights of the workers and should not deprive them from their basic fundamental rights.
The PFUJ have launched the protest campaign since November 3, when the emergency was promulgated and the two anti-Press laws were introduced and held demonstrations, set up protest camps. In the last 35 days, police in Karachi arrested 187 journalists (who were later released). produce five journalists including four photo-journalists in chain in the court, detained two brothers of the President of Sukkur Press Club, Lal Asad Pathan, detained and beaten journalists in Hyderabad, Quetta, in Peshawar, Abbotabad.
However, journalists responded to the call of PFUJ and demonstrations were held in all the major cities and towns of Pakistan.
“Working journalists have shown their courage and its now upto the media owners, editots to join the struggle and play their due role,” it said, adding that PFUJ welcome the visit of CPNE delegation to the protest camp in Lahore.
PFUJ urged the APNS, PBA and CPNE, bodies of owners of newspapers, private tv channels and body of editors to adopt collective line of action in consultation with PFUJ