South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

A consultation session on hate speech, law and media’s role was held at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday.

In the consultation, human rights activists, media personalities, lawyers and minorities’ activists were present. The session consisted of four sessions including ‘Media’s attitude towards hate speech’, ‘Law and practice on hate speech’, ‘Gaps in law administrative practice that enable hate preachers to escape accountability’, and ‘Remedial action by state, media personnel and their associations’.

The participants expressed their views on hate speech propagated by the media, which includes print, electronic, and social media, as well as religious sermons, and academic textbooks.

On the occasion, the speakers said hate speech is damaging our society, as a number of groups or factions associated with different ideologies prompting it. They said these speeches affect the uneducated people of the country, most of who rely on sermons to educate themselves.

They were of the view that social media is also promoting hate speech and the government should make relevant laws to control the growing intolerance on social media. “Due to lack of implementation of laws, there was a mindset in Pakistan that anyone can easily get away by saying anything regardless of the fact how hurtful it could be for a particular segment. The laws must be implemented in true and letter spirit,” they added.

Pakistan needed a comprehensive approach to solve the growing problems of hate speech, from which Pakistan has suffered a lot in history, they said, adding that all those seminaries and educational institutions that are promoting hate speech must be brought under the law.

Updated On: November 07, 2015