Aaj English TV

Friday, July 19, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Journalists lambast govt for amendments to 2016 PECA ordinance

The journalist fraternity has taken to social media to reject the changes made to the Prevention of Electronics...
Source: itei.org
Source: itei.org

The journalist fraternity has taken to social media to reject the changes made to the Prevention of Electronics Crimes Act, (PECA) 2016 on Sunday. They lambasted the government for attacking press freedom and vowed to challenge the amendments in court.

“This is a lethal injection,” said environmental journalist Afia Salam referring to the amended PECA ordinance.

“They say in times of national emergency, the first casualty is “free speech”,” said anchorperson Raza Zaidi.

The ordinance to amend PECA was promulgated by President Arif Alvi, and it aims to counter fake news. The salient features of the amendment, as reported by Aaj News are:

• Non-bailable offence

• Cognizable offence

• Complainant can be public at large

• Punishment increased from three years to five years

• Trial to be conducted within six months

• If trial is not complete within six months, disciplinary proceedings could be conducted against judge

• No one is exempt to ordinance

• Counter fake news

Pakistan’s media bodies including PFUJ, APNS, CPNE and PBA have rejected the changes made to the 2016 PECA. These organizations have decided to come together to take legal action and challenge this attempt to “curb media’s freedom” and “voice.”

One user said that “Pakistan is turning into North Korea under Imrun Jong Un.”

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