Saying that publishing the truth and ensuring that citizens are informed about the actions of their government are rights that must be upheld, a judge has struck down moves by the government to block WikiLeaks.
How wonderful! After pressing Amazon to drop WikiLeaks from its servers and EveryDNS.net to stop providing its DNS, after telling the Library of Congress to block the WikiLeaks website and threatening university students not to read the forbidden cables, the US is finally coming to its senses and remembering how important it is to uphold freedom of the press, no matter how risky and awkward that can be sometimes. Maybe the dark days looming for America are lifting after all!
What's that you say? This didn't happen in America? It just happened in...Pakistan?!
LAHORE – Observing that access to facts and the truth cannot be denied to the citizens of Pakistan, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court Friday in limine dismissed a petition which prayed for a ban on the publication, printing and broadcast of the WikiLeaks reports on Pakistan.
The judge said nothing is greater than the truth and what WikiLeaks reports published now, our media had been revealing to the masses far ago. The petition has been filed by one Arif Gondal contending that the WikiLeaks cables about Pakistan and the Islamic states were aimed at creating tensions and souring ties between these countries. He also contends that the reports not only purported to malign Pakistani leadership but also the military as such they merit ban on their publication and broadcast in any manner in Pakistan....
The judge said nothing is greater than the truth and asked if this court or anyone sitting in the courtroom or even the petitioner has been affected by these reports? And the petitioner replied in negative, However, he said that the objective of the same seems an attempt to create instability in the country. He said almost the whole material in the reports is against the Islamic states wherein they have brought about a storm and commotion and are being termed as another 9/11. The judge said on it that the court cannot restrain 178 states in the world from publication of the reports then to what effect and use of placing restrictions on its publication in Pakistan? The judges asked the petitioner that did he believe that Pakistanis do not deserve to hear the truth and facts? The court remarked it was the 21st century when people could not be kept aloof of the truth and in the dark.
It's good to see that some countries value freedom of the press and think their people should not be kept in the dark, even when the facts revealed are embarrassing or awkward.
Let's hope it's an idea that spreads!