IFJ Worried by Restrictions on Reporting Pakistan Provincial Election

The International Federation

of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in condemning

restrictions on media reporting of a provincial election as a worrying block on

freedom of the press in Pakistan.

 

On March 4, the Speaker of

the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) Assembly barred journalists and media, including

State-run Pakistan Television, entering the Assembly to report on a local Senate

election.

 

The PFUJ, an IFJ

affiliate, said the ban may be intended to avoid a repeat of the journalistic

reporting that exposed foul play during voting in the 2008 Presidential

elections.

 

The PFUJ and its

affiliate, the Khyber Union of Journalists, were also concerned that while the

Speaker and the ruling NWFP coalition comprising the Pakistan People’s Party and

Awami National Party were responsible for the decision, the opposition did not protest

the ban.

 

“Political parties and governing

authorities at all levels must understand that freedom of the press includes

the freedom to report on elections in the public interest,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The IFJ calls on all

parties to recognise that bans of this kind undermine democratic principles,

and therefore must be overturned.”

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide