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AAFIA MOVEMENT

Seminar in punjab university | The Role of Third World Media in getting Human Rights restored in the United States.

Media playing exemplary role for HRs awareness

Naeem Ullah :
LAHORE: Consistent coverage of humanitarian issues in third world media has paved the way for developed countries to join hands for provision of basic rights to all in the world. Pakistan media set an extraordinary example in this context pertaining to its unconditional support to the cause of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, by regularly updating the government and the society on her miseries.
Speakers expressed these views while addressing a seminar titled “Role of Third World Media in Getting Human Rights Restored in the US (United States)”, in the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), Punjab University (PU) here on Friday. The seminar was organized in collaboration with Pak-American Democratic Forum. Director ICS Dr. Ahsan Akhtar Naz chaired the seminar, while chief guest Dr. Fouzia Siddiqi, political analyst and human rights activist Sara Flounders, and former US Congress Member Cynthia Ann McKinney also spoke on the occasion.
Addressing the seminar, Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui appreciated the role of media for the cause of her sister Dr. Aafia who had been sentenced 86 years in prison. She said, “If the government and all political parties raise their voice jointly, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui can be brought back home”. She said that Aafia’s trial was fake and she was sentenced without any proofs. She vowed that US court had not considered her plea at all and rigidly sabotaged her rights during trial. Fauzia undertook innocence of her sister and admired efforts of academicians for upholding support for Dr. Aafia thus strengthening the cause of human rights for all.
Former member US Congress Cynthia Ann McKinney said that media professionals should take great interest in investigative reporting and they should have access to the information. “Recently evolved social media is a domain where everyone is fighting against injustices,” she underscored. She underlined, “If the people through extensive use of social media kept the momentum on, then it will become impossible to snatch anyone’s right”.
She also apologized over the injustice committed to Dr. Aafia and demanded her release and return to Pakistan immediately. She also asked the Pakistan and US governments to sign “Prisoners Exchange Treaty” for Dr. Aafia’s repatriation and to end miseries of the victim and the family.
American political writer Sara Flounders said, “Media is increasing awareness regarding human rights in every country”. She said people had comprehended the fundamental rights and attached more importance to this in the wake of media exposure. She applauded Pakistan media’s consistent criticism on drone attacks and posing it as violation of international rules. She said media in third world had educated people in developed countries about the human rights condition, which consequently sparked a desire among them to work for human rights provision worldwide.

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