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The Joint Implementation Committee expressed serious concern about the Defamation Bill and the Digital Media Authority

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City42: The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Journalists and Owners of Journalism Organizations has expressed serious concern over the proposed Punjab Defamation Bill 2024 in its current form and the proposed “Digital Media Authority” of the federal government.

Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Pakistan Newspapers Association (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND). in his statement issued from Karachi, he said that media organizations are not against strengthening defamation laws or regulating digital media after strengthening defamation laws, but the bill in its current form looks harsh and threatens the fundamental right of freedom of expression.
The JAC emphasizes the need for detailed and meaningful consultation with all stakeholders to address the weaknesses of the proposed bill.
The JAC is of the opinion that any legislation in this regard should have a careful balance between protecting individual rights and maintaining the principles of freedom of expression.
Therefore, the Joint Action Committee requests the Government of Punjab and the Federal Government to hold a broad dialogue with media organizations and others.
Stakeholders should carefully assess the implications of the proposed legislation on freedom of expression and delay the passage of the Bill in the Assembly until then.
The JAC is committed to engaging constructively with the government to ensure that defamation and regulation legislation for digital media, if enacted, is fair, just and in line with democratic principles.

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