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PEMRA Imposes Ban On Live Coverage of Events at Islamabad Judicial Complex

According to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), “today, a ban has been imposed on coverage of any party, person, or organisation.” The Pemra also prohibited television networks from covering live events during rallies or other public gatherings.

The restriction order, according to Pemra, prohibits any parade or rally from taking place today at the Islamabad courthouse, where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is scheduled to appear.

The electronic media regulator stated that it has been noted with concern that satellite TV channels are showing live footage and images of a violent mob and attacks on police and law enforcement agencies. The advisory, titled “Prohibition Order on Live Coverage Under Section 27 of Pemra Ordinance 2001,” was released today.

“Such footage and images were seen on TV screens without any editorial oversight during a recent standoff between political party workers and law enforcement agencies in Lahore, wherein a violent mob used petrol bombs, injuring armless policemen and blazing police vehicles. The live telecast of such footage on different satellite TV channels created chaos and panic among the viewers and police.”

According to the Pemra letter, such mob action puts lives and public property at risk in addition to endangering law and order.

According to the media watchdog, the broadcasting of such material is against a ruling by the Pakistani Supreme Court.

“The competent authority, while exercising powers vested under Section 26(a) of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by the Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, hereby prohibits live or recorded coverage of any kind of rally, public gathering, or procession by any party, organisation, individual, etc., for today, i.e., March 18, 2023, including from the judicial complex in Islamabad.”

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