Over 20 Channels Summoned Over Blasphemy Allegations

Jun 3rd, 2014 | By | Category: Censorship

When Geo found itself in the crosshairs, the response from other media groups was sadly predictable – capitalise on the opportunity to bring the giant down, and in doing so grab a piece of their coveted audience. Unfortunately, in their scramble, the media tycoons forgot that throwing mud will leave you soiled as well. Now, Geo is not alone in facing allegations of blasphemy as they are joined by over 20 channels being summoned by a sessions court over claims that they too have committed blasphemy.

Muhammad Ilyaz Qadri of village 71 Shumali had filed an application with the additional district and sessions judge against the owners of 20 TV channels, including ARY, Express, Dunya, Samaa TV, Geo News and Dawn News, contending that these channels had been airing religiously controversial programmes for some time. Meanwhile, Geo News also aired a controversial morning show over which it apologised to people, but none of the other channels apologised and brazenly aired vulgar and religiously controversial programmes.

Qadri contended that the channels, now making a hue and cry over a controversial broadcast in the Geo morning show, had themselves aired similar objectionable programmes. Meanwhile, the Imambargah Dur-e-Abbas administrator has filed an application with the sessions court for registration of cases against five TV channels — ARY, Express, Dunya, Samaa and Ab Tak — contending that Geo TV had apologised over the blasphemous broadcast but these channels neither apologised nor were they proceeded against. The court summoned the owners on June 5 (tomorrow).

Charges of blasphemy can bring a death sentence both literally and figuratively. As journalists, we need to understand that we will stand or fall together. If we don’t stand up for each other, there will be no one left to stand up for us.

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