KARACHI : The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has expressed grave concern over the institution of high treason case against journalist Cyril Almeida and placement of his name on the Exit Control List (ECL) only for performing his professional journalistic duties.
A joint statement issued on Wednesday by CPNE President Arif Nizami, Senior Vice President Imtinan Shahid and Secretary-General Dr Jabbar Khattak emphasized that all state- and non-state institutions must respect media as the “freedom of media is necessary for democratic culture”.
The statement mentioned that the CPNE, being a sole representative organisation of the editors community of Pakistan, understands that the freedom of expression has been guaranteed in the Constitution. It said that it is not a proper move to prosecute any journalist for interviewing a former prime minister, and performing the journalistic duty is not a crime.
“One-sided action and cases against any journalist due to the process of conducting journalistic duties negate the basic human rights and media freedoms guaranteed to the citizens by the Constitution of Pakistan. Such actions are tantamount to eliminating media freedom,” said the statement.
The CPNE office-bearers stated that accepting the responsibility of the publication according to its research is in line with professional journalistic principles. “Therefore, it is expected that the name of Pakistani Journalist Cyril Almeida, will be removed from the ECL in respect of Constitution and law,” they added.