Pakistan TV channels barred from airing Sialkot motorway gang-rape news

Islamabad: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has barred all TV channels from airing news about a brutal gang-rape that took place last month in Punjab province, after an order was passed by a trial court on the request of the police.

“All satellite TV channels (news and current affairs) are therefore directed to comply with the orders of the honorable Anti-Terrorism Court, Lahore, regarding Sialkot motorway incident in letter and spirit and refrain from airing any content with regard to the instant case, in future,” Dawn news quoted a directive issued by Pemra’s General Manager (Operations-Broadcast Media) Muhammad Tahir, as syaing on Friday.

Investigating Officer (IO) Zulfiqar Cheema had filed an application before the ATC seeking a ban on media coverage of the incident.

He pleaded that the incident was a heinous offence and the media was indulged in reckless coverage of the instant case.

Cheema further told the court that the media coverage of the incident had been creating hindrance in the arrest of the prime suspect.

In his decision, Presiding Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta admitted the contention of the IO and observed that due to media coverage the victim and the family will also be disgraced.

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