Media bodies term expulsion of journalists from court ‘attack on freedom of press

ISLAMABAD: The journalists’ organisations have strongly condemned Rangers’ step to prevent journalists from entering accountability court premises and pushing them out from courtroom to cover proceeding of the references on the occasion of appearance of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday and termed it direct attack on freedom of Press.
In a joint statement. President of PFUJ Afzal Butt, Secretary General Ayub Jan Sarhandi and President of RIUJ Mubarak Zeb Khan and General Secretary Ali Raza Alvi said that an SOP was chalked out between the accountability court and the RIUJ on the issue of coverage and it was given a legal shape.
According to this SOP, two reporters of one institution can enter court premises while one reporter can enter courtroom and in accordance with the settled SOP reporters of the departments entered courtroom. But suddenly the Rangers expelled all reporters andstopped them from covering court proceeding forcibly, it added. The statement said that these steps were an open violation of Constitution of Pakistan and that SOPs which was reached between RIUJ and the registrar of the accountability court.
The joint statement said that the Rangers had attacked freedom of Press by taking law in their hands and we strongly condemned this act of Rangers and demanded action against those personnel who were involved in this act.
The joint statement warned that a call for holding protest demonstrations would be given not only in front of National Press Club Islamabad but across the country if such incident repeated in future.

Source: The News International
freedom of press

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