November 28, 2021
ISLAMABAD—The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the information and law ministries to submit a report on steps taken to protect journalists across the country within two weeks.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that there was no effective legislation to ensure the security of media workers. In his brief order, he said that the petitioner invoked articles 9, 14, and 19-A of the constitution to raise these questions of public interest in the plea.
The high court also noted that at least 40,000 cases were pending in the Implementation Tribunal for Newspapers Employees (ITNE). The IHC directed the ITNE to submit a report on the cases pending with it.
"The court was informed that ensuring the security of media workers and fundamental rights were interlinked," the order added.
According to the high court, the freedom of the press, including editors, reporters, and columnists, was of utmost importance, adding that this "important" question must be considered in the context of international practices and the United Nations Human Rights Commission reports.
The IHC also appointed presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Islamabad High Court Journalists Association as amici curiae in the light of the public importance of the issue. Senior journalists Hamid Mir and Mazhar Abbas were also asked by the court to provide assistance and further guidelines.
The case should be fixed for hearing in three weeks, the IHC added.
Pakistan Observer, October 31, 2016
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