LAHORE – An NGO Individual Land in collaboration with Foundation of Open Society Institute organised a workshop on ‘Sensitising Media on Torture’ at a local hotel here on Saturday.

The only speaker Mr. Wajahat Masood, a veteran journalist and intellectual, stressed upon sensitising the Pakistani press about reporting regarding torture cases. He said torture, which is made within the parameters of the law in connection with any criminal case, was itself a punishment for the accused and inexcusable in a civilised society.

Leading journalist and human rights activist Wajahat Masood opened up the discussion by first defining torture and its different forms prevalent in the society.

“Torture is intentional and official and it involves suffering, pain and misery to extract some information or evidence,” he said, adding that violence was different from torture as it involved a broader scope and may or may not involve state.

He said that Pakistan was a signatory of the United Nations Convention Against Torture which had become acceptable as customary international law.

Mr. Wajahat, however, said that we should also adopt the modern standards and norms if we accept the modern technology and tools of progress. He further said that the press should avoid reinforcing torture by responsible reporting and not using the words and sentences like “raped girl was young, Hathora Group, Pathar Group, Bori Band Laash and etc”.

According to him, these words carry the same meanings, which are equal to launching baton charge on the victims. He further said that the sections and ethnic groups of society like Christians, Sunni, Shiite and others should be called or pronounced in society and public meetings with the same names, which they like to be caleed. “We should avoid spreading hatred in our society,” he concluded.