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Supreme Court to Set Principles to Guarantee Press Freedom

Islamabad: The Supreme Court is preparing to provide instructions to all parties, including law enforcement authorities, regarding press freedom and media harassment.

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While hearing the Suo Motu Case concerning journalist protection, the court has also questioned whether Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance is inconsistent with Article 19 of the Constitution, which guarantees press freedom.

A three-judge special bench of the apex court, led by Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, has requested legal advice from the Attorney General of Pakistan, Khalid Jawed Khan, regarding the interpretation of Section 27 of the PEMRA Act and Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016, both of which are allegedly being abused to restrict press freedom.

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Previously, the DG FIA presented a report claiming that the FIA had received 27 complaints, of which four were investigated. The bench requested an update from IG Islamabad regarding the cases of journalist attacks in the capital city.

The court also ordered the president of the Press Association of the Supreme Court (PAS), Amjad Nazeer Bhatti, to meet with the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in his office to convey his concerns on the harassment of journalists by the agency.

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