KARACHI: Different factions of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) as well as the Karachi Press Club (KPC) condemned the district administration’s action of locking the Quetta Press Club and announced that the journalist community will observe a black day on Tuesday (today).

A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising the KPC body, PFUJ and KUJ factions.

The meeting, chaired by KPC President Saeed Sarbazi, was briefed by JAC convener and KPC Secretary Shoaib Ahmed about recent incidents, including the locking of the Quetta Press Club.

The JAC said that the sanctity of the Quetta Press Club had been violated and action should be taken against those responsible for the incident.

The JAC also deliberated upon some amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) by the federal government and amendments to defamation law by the Punjab government.

The JAC emphasised that any law should be introduced only after consultation and consent of the stakeholders. They noted that while defamation laws can be improved and strictly implemented, “criminalising it is clearly aimed at targeting freedom of the press and speech under the guise of combating fake news, which will be resisted”.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2024

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