April 08, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed concern over reports that the Pakistan government is mulling amendment to a law to empower the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PERMA) for blocking transmission of TV content.
In a statement, the IFJ said that according to a report published in Dawn, the government had discussed a possible amendment to the PERMA Act 2007 and the amendment had been drafted and shared with some officials and legal experts.
The amendments, if implemented, would empower the PERMA to ‘de-link’ the signals of a specific television channel towards any satellite, which would ensure that no cable operator or television set gets the broadcast.
“The IFJ believes that providing such legal and arbitrary way to a state authority is contradictory to the fundamental principles of democracy and free press,” it said.
The IFJ said: “Censorship of any kind or in any logic is unacceptable and a gross violation of human rights and democratic principles. Any arbitrary power to block or censor contents of any media is contrary to freedom of expression and will gauge independent media making the democracy in Pakistan suffer.”