ISLAMABAD, 12 January 2017 – A meeting of Senate subcommittee of the standing committee on Information and Broadcasting, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. this morning has been cancelled after committee members failed to show up. The only member present was the sub committee’s convener Senator Farhat Ullah Babar
The meeting had been called to prepare another draft of ‘Journalist Safety and Welfare Bill 2017″.
On 4th January 2017, the committee had met a number of stakeholders for consultations on the same draft. Following this meeting, civil society groups, including Media Matters for Democracy, MMfD, Digital Rights Foundation, DRF and Pakistan Press Foundation, PPF had submitted a petition to the senate asking for wider stakeholder engagement and inclusion of women journalists’ concerns, digital security issues and expanding the scope of the bill to digital journalists.
Separately, MMfD has also submitted its recommendations for the bill.
“We have shared concerns about the lack of inclusion of perspectives from women journalists and digital security threats with Senator Farhatullah Babar”, said Sadaf Khan, Director Programs, Media Matters for Democracy, “We hope that the subcommittee continues to engage with a wider range of stakeholders and these key perspectives are included in the final draft. However, it is concerning that today’s meeting had to be cancelled due to non-attendance of members”.
Other civil society groups have also shared recommendations related specifically to the digital security of journalists.