ISLAMABAD: Human Rights Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada on Wednesday said the government would take up journalists’ human rights violation issues with the authorities concerned.

The human rights minister was talking to a delegation comprising members of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and the National Press Club (NPC) in his office.

Members of the delegation presented their concerns over several incidents of human rights violations particularly against the journalists who were performing their professional duties. They handed over a charter of demands to the minister and requested for his earnest efforts for their fulfilment.

Responding to some points raised by the members, minster said that Ministry of Human Rights, being the prime institute for the protection of rights of every segment, class and community in society, would augment its efforts to ensure the safety and security of journalists.

The minister added it was his duty to resolve the issues of target killings, abduction, enforced disappearances and attacking of journalists and he would personally raise these issues at appropriate forums. Balochistan would be his utmost priority, he said.

Minister said that freedom of expression and right to access to information was guaranteed by the Constitution under article 19 and 19-A.

Every citizen must have access to information but in a state, laws should never be used to intimidate journalists.

He reiterated that the ongoing process of establishment of an independent commission for the Protection of Journalists and Media Professional Act, 2021 would be completed soon and subsequent rules laid down by the ministry to provide maximum relief to the journalists’ community.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2022

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