May 19, 2018
ISLAMABAD – The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has expressed grave concern over a notice issued to Dawn by the Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) for ‘violation of Ethical Code of Practice.’
The notice follows an interview of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the paper published on May 12.
“HRCP is gravely concerned at reports that @dawn_com has been served a notice by the PCP for 'violation of Ethical Code of Practice' and that the newspaper's circulation has been subject to seemingly arbitrary curbs,” the commission said in a series of tweets on Friday.
In the interview, Sharif said: “Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?”
The HRCP said: “There is no evidence to suggest that @dawn_com has 'undermined' #Pakistan's 'sovereignty or integrity' under the PCP Ordinance 2002 by publishing an interview with the former PM speaking on the record.”
The commission pointed out that such curbs were tantamount to press harassment and “only chip away further at the shrinking space for #FreedomofExpression.”
It urged the authorities not to interfere in the media's right to report fairly.
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