PPF voiced against media freedom in the Thailand, Iran and Tanzania

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) voiced concern over the violation of Media freedom in the Thailand, Iran and Tanzania.

On May 15, 2017, PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter to Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand expressed serious concerns over the detention of six online media activists including human rights lawyer Prawet Praphanukul and activist Danai Tibsuya under lèsemajesté law.

According to Article 19, six were arrested for the series of Facebook posts and are currently being held on remand.

Since the 2014 military coup there has been an alarming increase in arrests and prosecutions under the lèsemajesté provision of the Criminal Code.

On May 16, 2017, Ali in his letter to Iranian government expressed concerns over a year imprisonment to journalist Isa Saharkhiz for allegedly “insulting the former president” and “defaming the head of the judiciary” on April 26.

Prosecution of journalists and crack down on social media platforms by Iranian authorities are caused by the upcoming presidential election in Iran at the end of May this year, according to media reports.

On May 17, 2017 PPF Secretary General wrote a letter to John Magufuli, President United Republic of Tanzania, while raising serious concerns on his statement “Media freedom has limits” during oath taking ceremony of the ministers.

According to International Press Institute (IPI), during last 18 months newspapers have been shuttered, opposition rallies have been barred, live broadcasts of parliamentary sessions have been halted and a cyber-crime law was enacted that has been used to jail critics.

His government is imposing criminal charges against individuals accused of spreading “false information” online.

Ali urged the authorities to end the violations of free expression, and ensure the conditions where journalists can perform their professional duties without fear of intimidation or retaliation and right to deliver the news to the masses.