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PEMRA Suspends Channel 24’s Licence For Airing ‘Hateful’ Content During Muharram Transmission

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The Pakistan Electronic Media Authority Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has suspended the licence of Channel 24 News with ‘immediate effect’ after the news channel aired ‘hate inciting content’ during a special Muharram transmission.

In a press release issued on Sunday, the regulatory body said it had issued an advisory to all television channels on Aug 20, directing them ‘not to air material that would harm inter-faith harmony or which was based on sectarianism and inciting hate’.

However, it said 24NewsHD — a part of Central Media Network Private Limited — aired ‘hate material during its special Muharram 10 transmission without exercising any editorial control’.

According to PEMRA, it received complaints regarding the transmission after which it suspended the channel’s licence under section 30(3) of the Pemra Ordinance, 2002. The body also issued a show-cause notice to the channel, seeking a reply within 14 days.

“The channel has been given the opportunity to present its stance according to the law,” it said.

In response to the backlash over airing of the objectionable content, Channel 24 News issued an apology and said the editorial board failed to exercise control in this particular instance because the ‘content [of the dua that caused offence] was in the Arabic language’.

According to channel, it would never broadcast anything that would disrespect the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

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