Pakistan bans, then restores channels

November 25th saw Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) order all private TV news channels to immediately close during a crack-down on protesters in the nation’s capital, Islamabad.

Reuters said that some 8500 police were attempting to bring a protest of 2500 Islamists under control.

The PEMRA suspension was because of an instruction to all broadcasters not to show live coverage of the protests. Reportedly Pakistan Television continued to broadcast but transmitted a talk show discussing politics.

The November 25th enforced rule says that there must be no broadcast coverage of any on-going security operation, other than that permitted by security authorities. Camera crews were also forbidden to enter the zone where protestors were active.

Police used tear gas and water-cannons to battle activists in demonstrations that have been taking place for almost three weeks.

PEMRA relaxed its ruling later on November 26th. It said that all news and current affairs satellite channels had been restored immediately while distribution networks had also been directed to restore the channels onto their original positions.

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