Pakistan: PFUJ urges reversal of decision to close AAP News

Hundreds of media workers in Pakistan have been left jobless following the sudden closure of AAP news.

Credit: EAhmadNawaz, distributed under a CC BY- SA4.0 license.

The IFJ has backed calls by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) for the decision to be reversed.

Business tycoon Malik Riaz, who is estimated to be the 9th richest person in Pakistan with a net worth of over $1bn, took the decision to close Aap News television channel, claiming "unavoidable legal and technical reasons".

The PFUJ strongly condemned the closure and threatened nationwide protests unless the ddecision was immeditaely reversed. They also threatened legal action.

According to an internal staff email, dated April 11, "the administration has decided that salary of all employees for the month of March will be paid on April 14 and 15 while the payment of salaries for the notice period between April 11 and May 11 will be paid on April 21 and 22," reads the email.

Riaz will use his licensing rights to launch a new channel where employees of Aap News would be hired on a "priority basis", according to the email.

PFUJ President GM Jamali and Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem said: "This is an unbelievable action amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has added to the stresses and worries of the journalists community in Pakistan. We will be considering a legal course to undo the closure to protect the interests of the hundreds of the media workers," The PFUJ leadership said.   

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “This closure must be reversed. If there are technical and legal reasons the owners and government must sort those out to protect hundreds of jobs. We stand strongly behind the PFUJ in this crucial fight for jobs”.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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