The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) rejected the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) on Friday, declaring it to be contrary to freedom of expression and basic human rights.
In its annual session, AEMEND noted that the purpose of the PECA Amendment Ordinance was to curb the freedom of media and the people in violation of the spirit of the Constitution.
It demanded of the government to withdraw “this illegal, unconstitutional, undemocratic and anti-media PECA Ordinance” immediately and unconditionally. The annual session reaffirmed its resolve to resist every black law, including PECA Ordinance.
AEMEND reiterated its resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with other media organisations, bar councils, human rights and civil rights organisations in this collective struggle against the PECA ordinance.
Expressing serious concern over the overall freedom of expression situation in the country, AEMEND said that it was not the responsibility of a single entity alone to address the problems faced by journalists like threats, persecution, pressure, propaganda, harassment of female journalists in particular and social media trolling.
“It is after all the responsibility of the government to ensure a free and safe environment for journalists to perform their duties without any pressure,” it said. It also implored the management of all media houses to take steps for the professional training and capacity-building of journalists by conducting special courses. In this regard, AEMEND assured its full cooperation.
AEMEND also demanded that the working professional journalists should be appointed as editors, directors and heads of news, saying that it would not only be beneficial for the organisations and the viewers but would also ensure checks and balances, implementation of the code of conduct and adherence to journalistic values.
AEMEND welcomed the establishment of a committee by the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) to address the challenges faced by journalists and media workers, and hoped that concrete and positive steps would soon be taken in this regard, as this would greatly benefit the journalistic fraternity and workers and mitigate the prevailing unrest and financial uncertainty in the community so that there could be better focus on broader issues.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ