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Pak journalist bodies to hold long march against proposed media law

ANI | Updated: Sep 17, 2021 17:14 IST


Islamabad [Pakistan] September 17 (ANI): The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Thursday announced it would hold a long march in the country against the proposed media legislation that has been termed 'unconstitutional' by several media bodies in Pakistan.
The developments came after the Imran Khan government proposed the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PDMA) bill to allegedly curb freedom of speech and expression in the country. The march will be held from Quetta to Islamabad in early November, Dawn reported.
"The journalist fraternity considers the bill a draconian piece of legislation and rejects it in its entirety," PFUJ Secretary General Nasir Zaidi said.
Zaidi also said that the union is compelled to launch a countrywide protest adding that the union's 13 units that would hold conventions in their respective jurisdiction that would also be attended by the union leadership.
Earlier on Sunday, hundreds of journalists in Pakistan also gathered outside the Parliament House to protest against this legislation.

The call for the sit-in was given by the PFUJ and a number of scribe groups, opposition parties, lawyers and the representatives of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also participated in it, Express Tribune reported.
Meanwhile, the journalists affiliated with different news organisations and press associations have termed the law against article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression to the people.
Despite being a democratic state, Pakistan continues to suppress free speech in digital spaces, stopping its citizens from participating in the working of the state by depriving them of a resourceful channel for vocalizing their concerns.
Report 2020' by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) to say that the country performed poorly in all the indicators that determine free speech and that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the digital censorship in Pakistan.
Pakistan scored 30 points out of 100 on the assessment report index, which analysts say proves the fact that the government has placed curbs on free speech and disallowed people to talk especially about the pandemic and the related information. (ANI)

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