Pakistanis’ freedom of expression must be protected, says HRCP


LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is perturbed by the rapidly eroding space for freedom of expression in the country.

The Commission in a statement issued on the eve of the Human Rights Day stated,

“The right to know, dissent and free expression of ideas is essential to any democratic setup. Without the free flow of information and ideas, there can be no informed discourse between citizens, which will breed further divisions and intolerance within society”.

The commission commenting on the aggravating situation of human rights in the country stated,

“The recent 28-hour blackout of private news channels across Pakistan was a disproportionate unilateral action taken by the government Anyone trying to circumvent these curbs has been routinely abducted by the security forces. These enforced disappearances have included social media activists, news reporters, bloggers, journalists and human rights defenders. The latest victim is Raza Khan, an Indo-Pak peace activist and convener of Aghaz-e-Dosti, who was picked up earlier this week.”

HRCP emphasised that the government needed to stop ignoring the prevailing situation and resist being part of any repressive measures which were threatening the freedom of expression.