Federal cabinet approves Protection of Journalists Act
April 4, 2020 03:08 AM
The federal cabinet on Friday approved the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2009 as part of government’s efforts to ensure protection to people associated with the media industry in Pakistan.
Under the draft law, every media house owner would provide his employees life insurance and health insurance. The law would be applicable in times of violent clashes and internal chaos as well as peace time.
According to the bill, the federal government would set up a seven-member commission for protection of journalists. The commission would be authorised to take any issue to the relevant magistrate and it would have powers equal to a civil court. The commission would have the authority to summon documents and witnesses and administer oath. The commission would also be authorised to summon information from federal and provincial institutions and intelligence agencies.
In case equal number of votes is cast on both sides, the commission chairman would cast his vote to decide a case. The National Press Club in Islamabad will name a member for the commission. Th e Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) will name four members to the commission, one from each province. The chairman of the commission for safety of journalists would be a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Incidents of threats and violence against journalists would be investigated immediately. Media houses would be responsible for devising a comprehensive policy for safety of their employees under the Journalists Welfare Scheme. An insurance scheme will be started for training and insurance of journalists and the government would protect journalists against threats.