A UN human rights panel has expressed its concerns over an “alarming pattern of restrictions” on freedom of expression in Pakistan.
According to Dawn, the UN panel has informed the Pakistan government that it has received information regarding a series of “alleged meritless charges” brought against some journalists and human rights defenders.
The documents, sent to the government by the panel, include cases that have been dismissed as well as those in which journalists were questioned or threatened but not prosecuted.
Last year, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in a ‘White Paper on Global Journalism’ had listed five countries, including Pakistan, as the ‘Most Dangerous Countries for Practice of Journalism in the World’
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had condemned the action of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government demanding that the state should refrain from such actions and stop using the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to curb political dissent.
“HRCP is alarmed by the news in circulation that the FIA is registering cases against 49 journalists and social media activists under PECA regulations. We demand that the state refrain from such action and stop using the FIA to curb political dissent,” HRCP had said in September last year.
Pakistan is ranked 145th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) 2020 World Press Freedom Index, three places lower than in 2019.
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Asian News International