KARACHI: The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) have expressed concern over an order issued by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) about three media persons in a contempt of court case.

In a press release, AEMEND said the recent order of the IHC about editor-in-chief of the Jang Media Group Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman and Ansar Abbasi and Aamir Ghouri of The News International in the contempt of court case was a worrying development because the journalists had merely reported on an affidavit that existed and had been verified.

“The order would have repercussions on press freedom and the freedom of expression of journalists in Pakistan, which already has a bad repute in this regard according to the RSF Global Press Freedom Index Report of 2021,” said the AEMEND press release.

“Such reporting by the journalists is justified and legitimate since they had no ill-intentions behind reporting such proven news,” said the press release.

The statement appealed to the “respected judges of the Islamabad High Court to drop all charges of contempt against the media persons”.

For its part, the PBA said in its statement: “Journalists discharge their responsibilities of informing the public with sincerity. PBA strongly believes that indicting the journalists for merely practising their journalistic and rightful duties towards the people of Pakistan, will have serious consequences on freedom of expression.

“PBA appeals to the honourable judges to kindly review their decision.”

Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2022

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