Journalists reject new Palestinian Authority law – Journal
LAHORE: Various journalists’ organizations have dismissed as an attack on press freedom the law recently passed by the Punjab Assembly according to which the so-called House Judiciary Committee can criminalize any journalist or bureaucrat for violation in a summary trial a privilege of the house, one of its committees or a member.
The Federal Journalists Union of Pakistan (Rana Azeem), the Punjab Journalists Union, the Lahore Press Club and the Punjab Assembly Press Gallery Committee, the Association of Electronic Media Journalists and the ‘Association of Journalists of Southern Punjab condemned the âsmugglingâ of the Punjab Provincial Assembly of Privileges (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
They announced a rally outside the governor’s house on Friday (today) to protest the controversial bill, calling it contrary to democratic standards.
The bill, ironically having the support of all parties in government and the opposition – PTI, PML-Q, PML-N and PPP – passed without circulating it among members of the press gallery, authorizes the president to form a judicial commission endowed with the powers of the first magistrate. class on a complaint lodged by a member and the organ can have the journalist arrested without a warrant from the precincts of the assembly and impose on him up to six months in prison and a fine of up to Rs 10,000 for violation of any lien mentioned in a schedule inserted in the Privileges Act II of 1972.
The timeline includes “infractions” such as willfully misrepresenting any speech made by a member before the assembly or any committee, publishing any report or debate or proceeding banned or struck off by the president, publishing any reflection on the president’s conduct, or any allegation of bias against him, publish any deliberation or report of any committee before they are reported to the assembly or published in the official journal, etc.
The bill, which has yet to be signed by the governor to become law, empowers a legislator, who is supposed to participate in a meeting called by any government, semi-government or autonomous body, to chair that session.
Posted in Dawn, July 2, 2021