UNESCO chief calls for press restrictions to be lifted in Pakistan
Voicing concern over continued press freedom repression in Pakistan, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today reiterated his call to President Pervez Musharraf to lift media restrictions.
“Curtailing the basic human rights of freedom of expression and preventing media professionals from carrying out their duties is not going to contribute to internal peace and development,” said Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO. “I therefore ask President Pervez Musharraf to lift restrictions on the freedom of the media in the country.”
Noting that 180 journalists have been arrested for demonstrating against censorship, he added that “the fight against terrorism must contribute to the defence of democracy, not to its erosion.”
The arrests reportedly took place during a nationwide protest organized by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists. Many protestors were injured during the demonstrations, according to the International Federation of Journalists.