Media Action Committee announces no talks with government until new law is withdrawn

The Media Joint Action Committee has walked out of the meeting with the Ministry of Information regarding the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PICA) Amendment Ordinance, calling it a drama.

After walking out of the meeting, the action committee said in a statement that there would be no dialogue with the Ministry of Information until the recent draconian amendments to the PKK law were withdrawn.

Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Representatives of the Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AMEND).

The action committee said that the Ministry of Information was playing with the name of dialogue with the committee and in the meantime ordinances were being issued against freedom of expression in the country and the impression was being given that the media was being engaged.

The Joint Action Committee said there were several instances where the Ministry of Information was distorting freedom of speech and restricting journalists' right to report.

According to the Joint Action Committee, the Ministry of Information is financially weakening the media to influence journalism.

According to the statement, the media community had earlier warned and appealed to the Prime Minister that a dangerous trend was emerging which was creating a gap between the government, media and media workers.

The Joint Action Committee added that all media organizations are united in protecting freedom of expression and the public's right to access information.

It may be recalled that the Joint Action Committee in a statement on Sunday rejected the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PICA) ordinance.

Yousuf Raza Gilani announces to challenge Pika law in court

On the other hand, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Yousuf Raza Gilani, has announced to challenge the PKK law in court.

Yousuf Raza Gilani said that Pika rejects the law. "The Senate met on February 17 and presented the ordinance on February 18. They want to intimidate their opponents by making laws."

The opposition Ittehad-e-Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has also rejected the Pika law.

PDM spokesman Hafiz Hamdullah said the PKK Presidential Ordinance was a black law.

He said that legislation through Presidential Ordinance was anti-democratic and a symbol of dictatorship.

What is the PECA Amendment Ordinance?

President Dr. Arif Alvi on Sunday issued an ordinance amending the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 to make it a mockery of any person, company, party, organization, authority and any institution established by the government. Has been declared.

Under the ordinance, four basic amendments have been made in the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, while a whole new section has been added and some clauses have been amended.

The ordinance has been named as 'Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance 2022' which has come into force immediately.

Section 2 of the Pika Ordinance includes a new clause to add a new definition of the individual. Under which any person means any company, party, organization, authority and any institution established by the government.

Under the Electronic Crimes Act 2016, the exemption granted to PEMRA licensed TV channels has been abolished. After which fake news or ridicule about any person on television will also come under the category of electronic crime.

Similarly, a person who gives fake news will be punished for five years instead of three years while any person other than the affected person has been given the option to file a case against such news. Under the new ordinance, the offense would be non-bailable.

The case has to be decided as soon as possible but the maximum period has been fixed at six months. The trial court will submit a progress report of the case to the relevant high court every month and will inform the reasons for delay and obstruction in the case.

The trial court will be obliged to provide copies of the report to the Secretary Law in case it is from Islamabad and also to the Secretary Prosecution Department, Prosecutor General and Advocate General in case of any case related to the province.

The law contradicts the requirements of democracy: Human Rights Commission

 On Sunday, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) declared the law making criticism of the government and the state a non-bailable offense on social media a violation of democratic values.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a statement on its official Twitter account that "increasing the sentence for online criticism of the state from two to five years and making it a non-bailable offense is anti-democratic."

"The law will be used to silence dissent and criticism of the government and the state."

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