Fri, 10 Apr 2020

Geneva [Switzerland], Feb 26 (ANI): A banner bearing the slogan -- 'Pakistan allow media and political freedom' -- was displayed outside the United Nations office here with an aim to highlight Islamabad's crackdown on the press in the past two years.

The slogan was written in bold red and white letters against a black and white background. The banner had been placed at the iconic Broken Chair at a time when the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council is underway.

The freedom of media in Pakistan started to be questioned, especially after the controversial elections of 2018 where the polls were claimed to be manipulated by the Pakistani Army in order to bring the current Prime Minister Imran Khan in power.

Journalists in Pakistan have been facing the increasing risk of extremist threats and attacks on social media. A climate of fear has dominated the media which affects their operations. According to a report from a non-government organisation, more than 50 journalists were killed in the last two decades.

The government has extensive control over the broadcast streaming, advertisements for news channels, and social media. Journalists, activists, authors, and politicians describe this period as extreme fear and self-censorship period.

With the new regulations in the anti-terrorism agenda, terrorism, extremism, hate speech, fake news, incitement to violence and national security will be monitored, however, this might pave the way for mass censorship.(ANI)

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