Rana Mohammad Arshad

FOE Link or motive by PPF

Confirmed

Case Update Status

Islamabad High Court's order was in favour of Journalist, Case Closed

Summary of Case

"On 8th Oct, 2020 The Journalist Rana Muhammad Arshad filed a petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC) against Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Journalist had alleged that an FIA investigating officer had raided his house and harassed him and his family. Arshad's lawyers had said, during previous hearings that because of opinions and views expressed by him on social media, he was being harassed by the FIA’s Cybercrime Wing. On 3rd Nov, 2020 In Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah heared a petition and ordered in favor of journalist. A panel of lawyers comprising representing the journalist asserted that because of opinions and views expressed by the petitioner on social media, he was being harassed by the FIA's Cybercrime Wing. According to one of the lawyers on the panel, Arshad was summoned by the FIA and later his house was raided by officials of the agency. In defence, the investigating officer appeared before the court previously and claimed that he had only gone to the house to verify the address, but the court noted that the FIA had not provided any evidence of wrongdoing against Arshad. “He has further stated that, during the course of the investigation, no incriminating material whatsoever could be collected against the petitioner,” read the IHC’s order. The court further noted that a notice had issued to the petitioner due to the vagueness of the accusations. The court spoke about the fact the petitioner was summoned due to a cellular number being registered in his name. “He could not give a plausible explanation for sending the undated notice or failure to disclose the purpose for summoning the petitioner,” stated the court. The court felt that these actions by the FIA, which propagate “apprehension or fear” in the minds of those journalists whose job is to report information to the public, is “intolerable” and “undermines the independence”. “Freedom of speech and expression is the most cherished human right and fortifies the other constitutionally guaranteed rights.” Justice Minallah directed the director-general of the FIA to formulate special guidelines for investigating officers in proceeding against journalists."

Category of Incident

Arrest

ICCS Status

ICCS Divisions: 0202-Acts against liberty

ICCS Group: 02022-Deprivation of liberty

ICCS Class: 020222-Illegal restraint

ICCS Crime: Acts against liberty

Reported By

South Asia Monitor

Date of incident

9

Month

Oct

Year

2020

Name of affected person

Rana Mohammad Arshad

Other affected persons

No other person affected

Name of affected organization

No organization affected, Social Media matter

Other affected organizations

No other organization affected

Action by

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)

City

Islamabad

Province

Capital Territory

Designation

Journalist

Professional category

Journalist

Age of victim

Journalist denied to share

Marital Status

N/A

Compensation Details

Amount of compensation announced by government: No compensation Announced

Date of compensation announcement by government: N/A

Date of compensation paid by government: N/A

Amount of compensation announced by others: No compensation Announced

Date of compensation announced by others: N/A

Date compensation paid by others: N/A

FIR Details

Was FIR registered ?: No

Court Details

Was case investigated ?: Yes

Court where case was presented: Islamabad High court

Name of prosecuting lawyer: N/A

Date of first court hearing:

Date of last court hearing:

Status of court case: Islamabad High Court

Journalist Union Status

PFUJ

N/A

APNS

N/A

CPNE

N/A

PBA

N/A

Condemn Status

Colleague of victim

N/A

Employer organization

N/A

Press Club Status

Press club 1: N/A

Press club 2: N/A

Press club 3: N/A