FIA Books Journalist For Disseminating Anti-State Narrative, Fake, Misleading Information

The Islamabad-based journalist was also booked with disseminating malicious code. He had been arrested by FIA earlier

FIA Books Journalist For Disseminating Anti-State Narrative, Fake, Misleading Information

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has lodged an FIR against an Islamabad-based journalist for allegedly spreading anti-state narrative fake and misleading information. The journalist had been earlier picked up by the FIA from his home in the federal capital on charges listed in the FIR.

The FIR was registered against journalist Khalid Jamil by the FIA's Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, Islamabad, after an enquiry.

"[The accused] is found sharing, propagating, highly intimidating content/tweets on social media/Twitter. The accused had knowingly misinterpreted and disseminated anti-state narrative by sharing false, misleading and baseless information, which are also likely to cause fear or alarm in the public and may induce/ incite anyone to commit an offense against the state or the state institution or public tranquillity," the FIR read.

The FIR alleged that the accused persons, including Muhammad Khalid Jamil, propagated, promoted and glorified anti-state, provocative and hatred narratives against the state institutions. 

"Such intimidating content of blaming and naming through social media accounts, is a mischievous act of subversion to create a rift between general public and state institutions to harm the State of Pakistan. Through these intimidating content/tweets/videos, the accused attempted to provoke the general public against the state institutions, including the judiciary, by trying to create a feeling of ill-will among pillars of the state." 

Subsequently, a case was lodged under section 20 of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA 2016) and Section 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). 

PECA Section 20

Malicious Code: Whoever wilfully and without authorization writes, offers, makes available, distributes or transmits malicious code through an information system or device, with intent to cause harm to any information system or data resulting in the corruption, destruction, alteration, suppression, theft or loss of the information system or data shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both.

Section 505 of PPC
Statements conducing to public mischief:
(1) Whoever makes, publishes, or circulates any statement, rumour or report-
(a) with intent to cause or incite, or which is likely to cause or incite, any officer, soldier, sailor, or airman in the Army, Navy or Air Force of Pakistan to mutiny, offence or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such; or
(b) with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity; or
(c) with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community shall be punished with imprisonment for a term extending to seven years and with a fine.

(2) Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement or report containing rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote, or which is likely to create or promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and with fine.

Arrest of Khalid Jamil 

Jamil, who works as the bureau chief of ABN News in Islamabad, was picked up from his home on Wednesday evening on charges of making anti-state statements in his tweets.

His tweets in the the days leading up to his arrest pertained to Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa refusing to take protocol reserved for the chief justice -- which is equivalent to the President and Prime Minister.

He also tweeted that CJP Isa had allowed the media to broadcast live proceedings of a case while the same Supreme Court had barred the media from discussing the proceedings of the Hudaibia Paper Mills case against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

He also tweeted about the death of seven year old Ammar Farooq who suffered severe neurological problems after the arrest of his father, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket holder Ibad Farooq for his role in the May 9 incident.