FIR registered against Pakistani journalist Asad Toor for ‘negative propaganda’ against Army
An FIR has been registered against a Pakistani journalist Asad Toor for posting “negative propaganda against the state, Pakistani institutions and the Pakistan Army” on his social media account.
Toor, shared a copy of the FIR on his Twitter page.
“Rawalpindi police charge me under PECA and registered this FIR on 12 September 2020 on the complaint of proxy Hafiz Ehtisham. Here is the copy of the FIR. This is a sad development for me being a journalist because I never wish to be a news myself,” he said in his tweet.
As per media reports, the FIR was registered on a complaint by Hafiz Ehtesham Ahmed, a resident of Rawalpindi, who claimed that “in the last few days, [Toor] has used derogatory language for high-level government institutions, including the Pakistan Army which is a grave crime according to the law”.
The FIR has been registered under sections 499 (defamation), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code and sections 11 (hate speech), 20 (offences against dignity of a person) and 37 (unlawful online content) of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016.
Reacting to the incident, Toor, in another tweet said: “Without listening me reportedly on the complaint of a proxy character Hafiz Ehtisham Rawalpindi police registered FIR against me allegedly on being ‘Anti #Pakistan and propagating against #PakistanArmy on social media.’ Such fascist tactics can’t silent me.”
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) condemned the registration of the case against Toor.
“HRCP condemns the registration of an FIR against journalist Asad Toor on charges of defamation. The alarming increase in such actions against journalists confirms that the government is bent on muzzling freedom of expression,” it said in a tweet.
“HRCP demands that the rights of citizens be respected and that both the government and state adopt course correction,” it added.
The case against Toor is the third such complaint to be registered against a journalist in the past few days. A similar FIR was registered against journalist and former Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chairman Absar Alam in Jhelum.