The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) has rejected the PEMRA’s ban on airing live and recorded speeches and press conferences on TV channels, ARY News reported on Sunday.
The AEMEND spokesperson said in a statement that PEMRA’s move was a violation of basic constitutional rights and the electronic media authority should respect the freedom of expression besides playing its role in accordance with the law in case of any violation of the regulations.
— ARY NEWS (@ARYNEWSOFFICIAL) March 5, 2023
It added that the Constitution allows every individual to speak and write in accordance with the legal bindings. In case of violations, the state and the institutions have the legal right to take action.
The association added that TV channels are bound to the regulations but they are also responsible for giving access to information to the nation. TV channels have their own editorial mechanism and effective time-delay system.
There is a law in place to take action against any TV channel in case of any negligence. It added that it is an unlawful move to stop the broadcast of a speech or press statement of any political leader.
The authority said that AEMEND always conducted an effective struggle and opposed the restrictions on freedom of expression indiscriminately. The AEMEND asked PEMRA to avoid adopting illegal and unnecessary moves.
Earlier, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed a ban on broadcasting ‘live and recorded’ speeches and press conferences of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.
“It has been observed that Imran Khan [Chairman PTI] in his speeches/statements is continuously alleging state institutions by leveling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility,” stated the notification issued by the regulatory authority.
It further directed all satellite TV channels to ensure that an impartial Editorial Board be constituted as required under Clause 17 of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 in order to ensure that their platform is not used by anyone for uttering remarks in any manner “which are contemptuous and against any state institution and hateful, prejudicial to law and order situation”.
It warned of legal action as per Pemra laws in case of any violation of the directives.