National Assembly Human Rights body adopts Journalist Protection Bill

ISLAMABAD: The Standing Committee of the National Assembly (NA) on Human Rights on Wednesday gave approval the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2021 with amendment and now the bill will be presented before the National Assembly for further consideration.

The meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Human rights was held with the chair of its convener Shazia Atta Marri on Wednesday.

The committee adopted the report of the sub-committee, presented by its Convener Lal Chand, for the passage of the five bills from the National Assembly that includes the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2021” (Government Bill), The Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill 2021” (Government Bill), The Juvenile Justice System, (Amendment) Bill 2021” (Government Bill), The Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection (Amendment) Bill 2021” (Government Bill) and The National Commission on the Rights of Child (Amendment) Bill 2021” (Government Bill).

After adopting the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2021 Shazia Atta Marri remarked that journalists cooperated a lot in drafting protection bill for journalists. She remarked that the bill was drafted through the efforts of journalists. “We are grateful to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Parliamentary Reporters Association for their input in the bill,” she remarked.

On the implementation status of the recommendation of the previous meeting that due diligence on part of police was lacking in the incident of desecration of Hindu Mandir, happened on 04-08-2021 in the area of Bhong, Tehsil Sadiqabad, District Rahim Yar Khan, the committee expressed dissatisfaction over the response of police and administration and said that a more cohesive and concerted effort is needed to resolve the issue and rift created by miscreants.

In the case of former senators Farhatullah Khan Babar and Afrasiab Khattak, the complaints made by them have not been addressed and taken care off by the M/o Interior, it was directed that the Ministry should coordinate with concerned departments and address the issue of alleged kill list mentioning the names of certain parliamentarians.

The committee further asked the Ministry of Human Rights to coordinate with Ministry of Interior to address the issue of placing the name of MNA Mohsin Dawar on the ECL list and sought report from the Home Department of Government of Balochistan for the unlawful arrest of an individual Javed Achakzai.

The committee also appointed a sub-committee of the Standing Committee on Human Rights to look into the issue of violent attacks of transgender community across the country. The sub-committee comprised of Ms. Shaista Pervaiz, MN as a Convener of the Sub-committee and Dr Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto, Ms. Ghazala Saifi and Mohsin Dawar as members of the sub-committee.

Besides the Minister Dr Shireen M. Mazari, the meeting was attended by MNA’s Ms. Ghazala Saifi, Ms. Rukhsana Naveed, Lal Chand, Ms. Shaista Pervaiz, Mr. Mohsin Dawar, Ms. Shazia Fatima Khawaja, Dr. Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto and senior joint secretaries from Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Interior and other senior officers of the relevant departments.

Source: Dawn

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