Karachi, Pakistan: The media houses and journalists of Pakistan stand still against the new media law. Recently a veteran journalist Waris Raza from Karachi has been detained.
Raza is also a part of the ‘Press freedom movement’ that has been undertaken by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and several other scribe associations in the country against the new legislation that allegedly curbs media freedom in the country, Dawn reported.
After his detention, the veteran journalist was soon released by authorities. His brother Arif Raza confirmed that he reached back home in the evening. The PFUJ has also condemned Raza’s detention.
Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) general secretary Fahim Siddiqi earlier said that law enforcement agencies personnel arrived at the residence of Waris in Sahafi Colony in Gulshan-i-Iqbal at around 2:45 am and took him away, Dawn reported.
These developments came a week after the PFUJ announced to hold a long march in the country against the proposed media legislation that has been termed ‘unconstitutional’ by several media bodies in Pakistan.
Despite being a democratic state, Pakistan continues to suppress free speech in digital spaces, stopping its citizens from participating in the working of the state by depriving them of a resourceful channel for vocalising their concerns.
Report 2020 by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) says that the country performed poorly in all the indicators that determine free speech and that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the digital censorship in Pakistan.
Pakistan scored 30 points out of 100 on the assessment report index, which analysts say proves the fact that the government has placed curbs on free speech and disallowed people to talk especially about the pandemic and the related information.