KARACHI, Oct 11: Karachi Press Club has expressed deep concern over placing the name of DAWN correspondent Cyril Almieda on Exit Control List, ECL, without taking any legal court and demand its immediate withdrawal.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, KPC President Fazil Jamili and Secretary AH Khanzada termed the move from Ministry of Interior as ‘action in haste’ without even holding an inquiry into the matter.
The Ministry of Interior did not even followed the required legal course in this matter in putting someone name on the ECL, without a court order. In this case the story under question is of serious nature and the DAWN as well as the reporter concerned ‘stand by’ on the news.
Now, we urged both the government as well as DAWN, to take up this issue to the Press Council of Pakistan, PCP, which can also take suo moto, as all the representative bodies are members of PCP.
If the government want to take legal course against DAWN or the said correspondent, it has every legal right, but, before any judicial order any such move would mean putting undue pressure on the newspaper and harassment of the journalist.
Without any case of proper inquiry, putting the name of a journalist on ECL, would be considered as an attempt to suppress the media.
There is no doubt that in the last few years there have been decline in the standard of journalism and reporting particularly in the electronic media because of rising corporate culture. What we need is strong editorial oversight, editorial board and proper training.
Therefore, we urged the government to constitute Media Complaints Commission, MCC as per directive of the Supreme Court in Hamid Mir‘s case and in the light of the draft send by the PFUJ in 2008.
We also appeal to all the journalist bodies, senior editors and journalists unions to join hands to protect freedom of the Press and work for responsible journalism.