Friday, December 10, 2010

Do national & international authorities silent over plight of media men in Pakistan?

Do national & international authorities silent over plight of media men in Pakistan?
ISLAMABAD, Dec.10:- Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has drawn the attention of the government, judiciary and human rights bodies towards the blatant
violations of universal declaration of human rights in Pakistan.
“Pakistani judiciary, regulatory agencies and federal and the provincial governments have failed completely in protecting life, dignity of journalists, and ensuring rule of law in the media houses of Pakistan in terms of the universal declaration of human rights”.
In a statement on “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, issued here Friday, PFUJ pointed out with deep concern that the media persons in Pakistan were unable to avail their legitimate rights of wages and other fringe benefits as envisaged under the 7th Wage Board Award and labour laws. The 7th wage board award was supposed to be implemented with effect from July1, 2000.
“This is a classic example of the jungle law in the 21st century prevailing in Pakistan where the dictum ‘might is right’ reigns supreme”, PFUJ Secretary Genera, Shamsul Islam Naz said.
The refusal to discharge their legal and financial liabilities towards the journalists and media workers, the Pakistani media barons who pose to be champions and custodians of “human rights, rule of law, civil liberties, independence of judiciary and the cause of oppressed and depressed classes of the society are stand exposed, he added. They were running the "business of media houses" for building up their mighty financial empires by sucking the blood of their workers and denying them of their basic fundamental rights.
During the last one decade, hundreds of the journalists and camera operators have lost their lives while covering different events or in the pursuit of news but no media house ever bothered to compensate the dependents of their martyred employees. The media house owners always insured the camera but never bothered to insure its operator or journalists covering such dangerous and life risking events.
The PFUJ is perplexed over the free hand enjoyed by the media owners to flout the law and human rights by depriving media workers of their legitimate economic rights. It is strange and painful that the apex courts have also strengthened the media house owners by granting generous restraint orders that resulted in halting the operation of the 7th wage board award since 2000.
The PFUJ pointed out that “UDHR envisages that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedom irrespective to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. No distinction based on the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty is allowed under the UDHR.
The PFUJ said it is also provided in the UDHR that “everyone has the right to a standard living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care. Everyone is entitled to necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability and widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control”. But all such rights are being violated openly by the media owners without any accountability in Pakistan.
In line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Pakistani government was bound to ensure implementation of law of the land, which required constitution of the 8th Wage Board for newspaper employees which was due since 1st July 2005, and payment of legitimate benefits as per 7th Wage Award from 1st July 2000. Moreover it should ensure reinstatement of all summarily sacked media persons’ job security, conducive working environment, implementation of labour laws in letter and spirit. PFUJ demanded of the government to protect jobs of electronic media persons by amending Newspaper Employees (Conditions of service) Act, 1973.
The PFUJ urged all the national and international forces to support the Pakistani media employees in their just cause and legitimate rights.

Shamsul Islam Naz
Secretary General
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523

+92(0)321 8665523

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