On Friday, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shirin Mazari called the news of the registration of cases against journalists and social media workers “disturbing” and “incorrect” and said the FIA had not registered any such case.
Responding to a strong response from the HRCP (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan), he said in a tweet, “This was disturbing news so I checked and my information is incorrect.”
This was disturbing news so I checked and my information is incorrect. A private citizen has lodged a complaint with the FIA against about 12 journalists. The FIA investigates all complaints but no FIR has been registered and the FIA cannot file an FIR under the PECA without following certain legal procedures. pic.twitter.com/oS7lJUo6Lm
– Sweet Mazari (@ Sweet Mazari 1) September 25, 2020
He clarified that a private citizen had lodged a complaint with the FIA against about 12 people. “The FIA investigates all complaints but no FIR has been registered,” Mazari said.
He added that the FIA could register an FIR under the PECA (Prevention of Electronic Crimes, 2016) without following specific legal procedures.
However, Mazari added, “If anyone has any contradictory evidence in the FIR, let me know so that I can pursue it.”
Earlier, the country’s top rights group expressed outrage and frustration at the news that 49 journalists and social media workers were being prosecuted under PECA regulations.
The HRCP is alarmed by the news that the FIA is filing cases against 49 # Journalist And under social media workers #PECA Regulations We demand that the state refrain from such action and stop using the FIA for political deterrence # Decline.
– Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (RC HRCP87) September 24, 2020
“We demand that the state refrain from such action and stop using the FIA to prevent political mistrust,” he added.
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