HR activist condemns Pemra’s ban on Geo

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Journalists under siege

ISLAMABAD: A prominent human rights and social activist Tahira Abdullah has strongly

and unequivocally condemned Pemra’s 15-day suspension of Geo TV.Closing down private independent media by Pemra is not the answer to anything, she said. “Today it is Geo suspended, tomorrow it can be any other channel.

Do not celebrate the death of your enemy, as tomorrow your friend will die too. The only winners are the establishment and the evil forces against democracy, human rights, freedom and progressive thinking.

Tahira said all must work together, in unity and solidarity, to save our hard-won media freedoms, under Act. 19 & 19-A of our Constitution, as it was not handed to us on a silver platter, but was fought for, with blood, imprisonment, torture and severe censorship & hardships.

She said: “I do not condone the several hours of emotive, sensationalist, defamatory telecasting that unfortunately occurred immediately after my brother and dear friend Hamid Mir was attacked in Karachi (I continue to pray to God for his long life and good health), but once the senior management of the Media House (the JangGroup) acknowledged and apologized for this lapse in editorial judgement, there was absolutely no justification for Pemra to act thus. It seems to be part of a personal vendetta, like the one being carried out with such vigour by a rival media group and a few others too. I reiterate that the only victim will be the freedom of the media (both print & electronic) if we start going down this slippery slope.”

This sets a bad precedent, and is unforgivably shortsighted, given our sad history of 34 years of military misrule, out of our 67 years of independence.She asked: “Where are the media unions and the councils in all this?, PFUJ, UJs, APNS, CPNE, PBA, PCP, Press Clubs, etc. We see today the media houses and even media individuals hopelessly divided-and-ruled by cunning establishment tactics, partisan politics, undue politicization, the lure of filthy lucre and favours, and sadly, also by threats, intimidation, kidnapping, torture, killing, ad-revenue loss, and other assaults on the freedom of the media.”

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