MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended transmissions of a private TV network Monday, accused of badmouthing the country’s judiciary, as a politically motivated move, Amnesty International said in its report.
“ARY TV [the banned channel] must be immediately allowed back on air. There is simply no justification for the Pakistani authorities to silence sections of the media solely because of their political leanings,” Mustafa Qadri, Pakistan researcher at Amnesty International was quoted as saying in the report.
According to Amnesty, journalists in Pakistan are subject to attacks, harassment, abductions and killings by government authorities in an attempt to control freedom of expression.
“Journalism is an incredibly dangerous profession in Pakistan. Instead of trying to control what journalists say, the Pakistani authorities should do more to protect them so they can carry out their legitimate work,” Qadri said.
Pakistan has had a history of attempting to control media freedom of expression. Earlier in June, one of Pakistan’s most viewed private channels, Geo TV was shut down, after a six week confrontation with the country’s military establishment, as reported by Al Arabiya News.
The defense ministry accused Geo TV of “disloyalty to the country’s security” and was forced to publish a public apology.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 57 media workers have been killed since 1992 in Pakistan and many attacked while working.