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Representative image (file photo)
Representative image (file photo)

Pak probe agency investigates journalist Sami Ibrahim for anti-National remarks

ANI | Updated: May 08, 2022 23:15 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 8 (ANI): The Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated an inquiry on Sami Ibrahim, an anchor, in one of Pakistan's news channels for allegedly spreading "anti-state" videos and statements on several social media platforms.
The FIA had issued a press release on Sunday accusing the anchor of transmitting fake news about various Pakistani institutions, reported the Dawn newspaper.
"He has made imputations which are glaring attempts to incite armed forces personnel to mutiny. He has attempted to create chaos in Pakistan through media while staying abroad," the statement read.
According to the FIA, if the inquiry found him to be an offender, a case would be registered against him, reported the Dawn newspaper. Ibrahim would also be arrested and prosecuted in court. Further, as per the press release, since the news anchor is currently abroad, an Interpol red notice would also be issued for him.
Ibrahim's name would be listed on the Exit Control List (ECL) as well, which is an ordinance to provide for the control of the exit of certain persons from Pakistan who have been involved in any economic crime involving government funds, mass corruption, or misuse of authority.

In addition, an attendance notice has also been issued to Ibrahim where the news anchor is instructed to appear before Islamabad's FIA Cybercrime Reporting Centre on Friday to record his defence. If he fails to attend, a legal procedure under section 17 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) would be held against him presuming Ibrahim has nothing to present in his defence, reported the Dawn newspaper.
The notice claimed that Ibrahim had intentionally shared an alleged video on social media in public where "false and frivolous" accusations were made against senior government functionaries. "Furthermore, you have built a narrative with ill intent to cause intimidation and unrest between government officials/personnel of armed forces and the general public," the notice read.
Meanwhile, the news anchor has tweeted, confirming that a case has been filed against him, reported the Dawn newspaper. Ibrahim also stated that he had a discussion regarding the subject with his lawyer, who informed the FIA that he was abroad and would return on Saturday.
The "draconian" media law amendments passed by the former PM Imran Khan as an ordinance is drawing widespread criticism in Pakistan as it seeks to place fetters on the constitutional rights of citizens, local media reported.
The Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) amendment ordinance makes it a criminal act to slander any organisation, institution set up by the government, further increasing the punishment of three years imprisonment for guilty to five years, The News International reported.

Calling it an intentional attempt to suppress free expression, Amnesty International has severely criticized the law. Also, Human Rights Watch has asked the government to revoke the law which violates the basic rights of people, including journalists. (ANI)