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Thursday, February 2, 2023
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Journalists condemn arrest of TV anchor Jameel Farooqui

Leading members of the journalistic community condemned the arrest and criticized the government for curbing free speech.

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Journalists are condemning the arrest of TV anchor Jameel Farooqui. Members of Pakistan’s journalistic community have voiced concern over the arrest.

According to the details, the police arrested Jameel Farooqui in Karachi after he allegedly made false allegations against Islamabad Police related to the torture of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill.

As per the police, Jameel Farooqui had falsely accused the Islamabad Police in his v-log that the police had physically and sexually assaulted Shehbaz Gill. The Islamabad Police also confirmed the arrest.

Read more: PTI shares evidence of Shahbaz Gill’s torture with int’l human rights bodies

As a result, leading members of the journalistic community condemned the arrest and criticized the government for curbing free speech.

Senior journalist and TV anchor called the crackdown against media “dangerous”. He also urged PPP to take note of the media suppression going on in Pakistan.

“Arrest of TV anchor Jameel Farooqi is a dangerous continuation of a crackdown against media; ever new excuses are being invented to arrest journalists! Under cyber law, it is FIA jurisdiction to investigate charges and immediate arrests without long drawn investigations not possible!” Moeed Pirzada tweeted.

“Sherry Rehman Sahiba, at one point resigned as Minister of Information because of her reservations on new stringent laws being proposed for media! She and others in PPP need to examine what illegalities are being done in the name of PECA – Now or never!” he further added.

Renowned journalist Sami Abraham came to Jameel Farooqui’s defense and claimed that he was making satirical content.

“He is arrested for producing a political satire which is a shameful act by police. But a number of our so-called champions of journalism have little understanding of the difference between political satire and fake news,” Sami Abraham tweeted.

Meanwhile, one of Pakistan’s leading journalists Imran Riaz Khan claimed that another journalist revealed the news regarding the assault on PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, however, the case was lodged against Jameel Farooqui.

“Well done,” the journalist said in sarcasm.

Media crackdown in Pakistan

Apart from journalists, the public and PTI leaders have also condemned the arrest of Jameel Farooqui. Moreover, media suppression has always been prevalent in Pakistan. Journalists have been booked under false charges and have also had their lives threatened. However, in the past few months, Pakistan has witnessed an increase in strict action against journalists criticizing the government.

Read more: Twitter poll reveals 80% people feel unsafe while tweeting about govt.

“Maybe someone needs to remind ICT Police that at least on paper we are a democracy and you cannot terrorize people like this. What about the abductions you continue to allow to be conducted under your name? Do you have carte blanche to do as you please against citizens,” PTI leader Shireen Mazari tweeted while reacting to the arrest.

“Ever since the beginning of electronic media in Pakistan, there has never been such censorship and bullying,” Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.