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PEMRA warns electronic media against spreading anti-state content

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has ordered private electronic media to refrain from broadcasting content against state institutions, the judiciary and the armed forces.

According to its notification, PEMRA said it had observed some TV channels broadcasting content amounting to defamation against state institutions. He said the dissemination of such content was a violation of guidelines issued by the authority with the provisions of the PEMRA Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015 and principles of superior courts.

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The regulator went on to say that “freedom of speech and expression is the fundamental right of every citizen as per Article 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, however, this right is subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan, or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in connection with contempt of court (Commission of]or incitement to an offence.

PEMRA ordered all satellite TV stations to put in place a sunsetting mechanism and set up an impartial and independent editorial board. She added in her notification that these measures will ensure that television channels will not be used by anyone to make derogatory remarks in any way.

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