December 31; In expressing solidarity with renowned reporter Mr. Ansar Abbasi, PILDAT calls on the Islamabad High Court to drop contempt proceedings against Mr. Abbasi and the editor of The News international and owner of the Jang media group for publishing a verified story.
PILDAT believes that to protect freedom of media in Pakistan, no journalist should be penalized by the honourable courts for reporting on a news story. Mr. Abbasi performed his duty as a journalist to report on a public-interest news. His reporting reflects that it is based on accepted journalistic norms, ethics and standards. He fulfilled his journalistic responsibility to not just verify the story but also sought, included and published the view of former Chief Justice of Pakistan. Nowhere in the news story, there is any explicit or implicit contempt shown towards the honourable judiciary. Framing contempt charges against journalist and Editor Investigations Mr. Ansar Abbasi, Editor of The News International Mr. Aamir Ghauri and Jang Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will severely damage and compromise media freedom and independence of the judiciary in Pakistan.
PILDAT appeals the Honourable Chief Justice and honourable judges of the Islamabad High Court to drop contempt of court proceedings against Mr. Abbasi and the media group in keeping with the principles of rule of law and media freedom.