E-Bulletin For February 2020

Media Monitoring Report – February 2020

Feb 01: PEMRA slaps Rs.1 million fine on Channel 92 for “maligning” advisor to PM Imran Khan. https://www.dawn.com/news/1531876/pemra-slaps-rs1-million-fine-on-channel-92-for-maligning-sapm-zulfi-bukhari

Feb 10: Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights rules Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) does not “have jurisdiction” to regulate Web TV after civil rights activists and journalists rejected the regulatory body’s proposal in this regard.

Feb 12: Pakistan Telecommunication Agency regulating Internet in the country silently introduced new regulations to take full control of access to data on different social media platforms endangering citizens’ privacy and right to information, document obtained by Freedom Network reveals.

Feb 12: Man arrested in Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after his bail application was rejected by a local court after he was booked for allegedly posting “fake news” on his Facebook page. https://epaper.dawn.com/DetailNews.php?StoryText=13_02_2020_182_004

Feb 15: The Asia Internet Coalition takes serious note of new Prime Minister Imran Khan government’s regulations to control social media platforms. https://www.dawn.com/news/1534846/aic-warns-social-media-rules-will-make-digital-operations-extremely-difficult-in-letter-to-pm-imran

Feb 16: Journalist Aziz Memon, working for KTN TV channel and Kawish newspaper is found in Naushero Feroz district of Sindh province. https://www.dawn.com/news/1534965/journalist-found-dead-in-mehrabpur

Feb 23: Freedom Network urges Prime Minister Imran Khan to get draft journalists protection bill approved by his cabinet to end impunity for crimes against journalists. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/619050-draft-bill-on-journalists-pm-asked-to-take-up-bill-in-next-cabinet-meeting

Feb 24: Islamabad High Court gives federal govt a week time to reply as new regulations to control Internet freedom has been challenged. https://tribune.com.pk/story/2163111/1-ihc-gives-pti-govt-14-days-submit-reply-plea-social-media-rules/ 

Feb 24: PTI Lawmaker Shaukat Ali urges Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to take action against two television hosts for “insulting” Prime Minister Imran Khan, reports Samaa TV. https://www.samaa.tv/news/pakistan/2020/02/pti-lawmaker-seeks-action-against-tv-hosts-for-insulting-pm/

Feb 24: Javedullah Khan, bureau chief of Daily Ausaf n Mingora city of Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was shot dead by unknown attackers. No group claimed responsibility for his killing. He was also member of “Peace Committee” which was very active against Taliban-linked militancy in the area before military operation in 2009 to reclaim the lost ground. https://epaper.dawn.com/DetailNews.php?StoryText=26_02_2020_003_007

Feb 25: Federal government decides to merge two separate bills on journalists’ safety, security, insurance and terrorism and directs ministry concerned to make a comprehensive law on the matter for approval. https://www.dawn.com/news/1536678/nawaz-declared-absconder-for-violating-bail-terms

Feb 25: US Diplomat for South Asian affairs Alice Wells “expressed concern” over the Pakistan government’s new social media regulations, adding that they “could be a setback to freedom of expression and development of digital economy.”

Feb 27: Dawn Group moves the Sindh High Court against denial of advertisement by the federal government. https://www.dawn.com/news/1536992/dawn-approaches-shc-against-withholding-of-advertisements-by-federal-govt

Feb 27: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority officials “threatened, detained at gunpoint” by TV anchor slapped with fine.  https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/620276-pemra-officials-threatened-detained-at-gunpoint-by-anchor-slapped-with-fine

Freedom of Expression Monitoring

Feb 11: Federal Investigation Agency serves notice on female social media activist Ms Gul Bukhari for “provocative” activism warning if she does not appear within one month she may face legal proceedings under controversial Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016. https://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan-51457567

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