PEMRA is banning the airing of any content related to the Motorway Incident
The horrific Motorway Incident jolted the entire nation awake. The lack of safety while traveling, CCPO Lahore’s shameless victim-blaming, and police’s incompetence to arrest the criminals have raised many questions in the minds of women living in Pakistan. There has been no breakthrough progress in the case until now and it is genuinely frustrating.
But now PEMRA has decided to prohibit media coverage of the Motorway Incident on national television as well
PEMRA takes this decision on grounds of hindering the prosecution process and disgracing the victim’s family. It ordered all satellite channels to refrain from airing any content regarding the Sialkot Motorway Incident.
So now the Lahore Motorway rape case can’t be discussed also. pic.twitter.com/Poczrnxjrt
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) October 2, 2020
People are outraged at this sort of censorship by PEMRA
PEMRA is imposing a blanket ban on media coverage of the Sialkot Motorway gang rape? https://t.co/TTWzqQFCLE
— Fahad Desmukh (@desmukh) October 2, 2020
ملزم عابد تو گرفتار نہ ہو سکا لیکن پیمرا نے موٹروے زیادتی کیس کی میڈیا کوریج پر پابندی لگا دی۔
یہ ہے تبدیلی https://t.co/VIj7hL2CAT
— Reham Khan (@RehamKhan1) October 2, 2020
Also the motor way rapist is still at large after weeks. Ccpo is busy victim shaming.
And In these previous weeks multiple cases of rapes have been reported. Many left are still unreported. Y'all still don't believe this country is filled with potential rapists & rape apologists
— clownface (@sadsisrants) October 2, 2020
They are forced to think that this censorship might be for brushing away the incompetencies of the authorities
Basically, don't point out the multiple shortcomings of the Punjab police and the new CCPO Lahore. Wow. Pemra actively becoming a tool of censorship. This is not the regulator's role. https://t.co/hJXiV8qOdk
— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) October 2, 2020
Banning coverage of Lahore Motorway tragic incident NOW by #PEMRA is beyond bizarre. The media has been very responsible so far in protecting the identity of the victims. Banning coverage only means protection of the inept Punjab police and Buzdar-Imran duo.
— Sehrish Official (@opssindh) October 3, 2020
The fact that the notice said ”victim and HIS family will be disgraced” showed some really poor choice of words
And what is meant by "will be disgraced"? Is the rape of the poor woman not enough disgrace in the eyes of @reportpemra? Plus how DISGRACEFUL is it for HER that the perpetrator/s of this heinous crime are/is still at large.
— Hammad (@hsiddiqui_) October 2, 2020
You are right. The direction of ATC to ensure anonymity of the victim is justified but reasons mentioned are plainly offensive and choice of words reflects that our jurists are not properly sensitised about articulating their views on complex social/legal issues.
— Muhammad Hanif Gul (@Voice4Peace1) October 2, 2020
The absurdity of a blanket gag order on the press aside, why is our definition of terrorism so broad so as to include virtually everything? Then you get an ATC calling rape "an offence related to sex", coverage of which somehow 'disgraces' "the victim and his [sic] family".
— Reem Khurshid (@ReemKhurshid) October 2, 2020
People are saying that banning something is not the only way to protect the victim’s anonymity
There are legitimate grounds to regulate how media covers crime, incl. ensuring right to a fair trial of the accused and protecting privacy/confidentiality of victims
Blanket bans on reporting that reiterate such pernicious stereotypes about sexual violence have no justification
— Reema Omer (@reema_omer) October 2, 2020
It's totally unfair to ban coverage of #motorwayincident by PEMRA
Whether the accused is caught, released, not caught, the case is closed, the media is not allowed to report
First CCPO Lahore blamed victim and now this step on request of police…… pic.twitter.com/3V9ji1tghn
— Anonymous (@TFP_Haroon) October 2, 2020
*Pemra bans coverage of RAPE CASES*…..
Roz rape cases report hona shuru huye tou ab yeh kr diaa inho ny… or KITNA RAPE CULTURE KO SUPPORT KRIEN GY…???
— Fatima 🇵🇰 (@GoStudyFattie_) October 2, 2020
This notice by PEMRA has truly upset many
Also PEMRA jurisdiction extends to neither print nor social media!
— Gibran Ashraf (@GibranAshraf) October 2, 2020
— Nida Kirmani (@NidaKirmani) October 2, 2020
Instead of seeing something fruitful from days and days of investigations, all we are seeing are actions that are hindering any semblance of progress. The entire country is with the victim and we definitely need to know how the case progresses to understand where this country’s judicial system is heading. However, if this ban is just to protect the authorities from being accountable to the public, then this is, in many ways, unfair and disappointing.
What is your say on this ban? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image via thenews.com.pk/ The Express Tribune