Disruption to Dawn’s distribution has refreshed old memories of 5th July 1977: Afzal Butt

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“Urges interim setup to halt unannounced media censorship in the country”

Islamabad: (Parliament Times) Voicing his serious concern over the undue restrictions being imposed on media, the president Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Afzal Butt has said that disruption to distribution of Dawn News Paper has refreshed the memories of 5th July 1977 when General Zia-ul-Haq had imposed sanctions on the media after declaring martial law in the country.

Terming such kind of actions as against the spirit of press freedom president PFUJ and secretary general Ayoub Khan Sarhandi said that 5th July will be observed as a black day and black flags would be hoisted at National Press Club (NPC) as a mark of protest against curbs on press freedom and disruption to distribution to Dawn News Paper. The duo maintained that in connection with journalist community’s resistance movement against the dictatorial decisions of Zia Regime similar functions would be organized across the country on the day.

They said that PFUJ had decided to arrange solidarity camps outside the Dawn Office in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad on 9 July 2018 so as to convey the message that attack on Dawn was tantamount to an outrageous attack on the freedom of press. The PFUJ in its statement also said that doubts about the fairness of upcoming elections would be created if such kind of restrictions on media continued and it would be difficult to satisfy the international community, which the statement said would dent the credibility and image of country as a whole.

The PFUJ urged the interim government to put an immediate end to unannounced censorship of media and ensure complete freedom of press in the country.

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