10 October 2016
Pakistan: DI Raises Concern About Ban on Renowned Journalist
(Oslo) – Defend International condemns the decision taken by the government of Pakistan to put the renowned journalist, Mr. Cyril Almeida, on the Exit Control List and calls on the authorities to refrain from imposing any restrictions on media freedom.
According to recent reports received from DI defenders in Pakistan, the Pakistani government has issued a ban on Mr. Almeida preventing him from travelling abroad following his article about a secret meeting allegedly held on October 6th between government representatives and the military, during which certain security measures had been discussed. Such a ban means that Mr. Almeida has been listed on the Exit Control List, thereby labelled as a “threat to national security.”
DI stresses that the government’s decision is contrary to the freedom of movement, which is a universal human right. We condemn the practice of labelling journalists as “threats to national security,” which is an example of the Pakistani government’s increasing efforts to silence journalists and civil society activists alike. The authorities must refrain from imposing any restrictions on media freedom.
Photo credit: © Mr. Cyril Almeida
Update: DI defenders were informed on October 15th that the ban on Mr. Cyril Almeida was revoked and that his name was deleted from the ECL. We thank the authorities for their collaboration.