The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated an inquiry against BOL anchorperson Sami Ibrahim

FOE Link or motive by PPF


Case Update Status

Islamabad High Court (IHC) disposed of a petition against Sami Ibrahim.

Summary of Case

"On May 9, 2022 The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has initiated an inquiry against BOL anchorperson Sami Ibrahim for allegedly transmitting “anti-state” videos and statements on various social media platforms. Surprisingly, the inquiry was initiated under the controversial Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016, which was struck down by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) last month. The FIA, in a press release issued on Sunday, accused Ibrahim of being “involved in spreading fake news regarding state institutions”. “He has made imputations which are glaring attempts to incite armed forces personnel to mutiny. He has attempted to create chaos in Pakistan through media while staying abroad,” it added. Ibrahim is a TV anchor and has interviewed a number of high-profile figures, including former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The FIA said he would have an opportunity to defend himself in the inquiry which would be closed if he ably defended himself. Otherwise, the press release said, if the offence was made out then a case would be registered against him and he would be arrested and prosecuted in court. The press release said that an Interpol red notice would be issued for him since he was abroad and his name would be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL). The FIA further cautioned Pakistani-origin expatriates against “spreading chaos” in the country while abroad and warned that their social media posts must not be “offensive or seditious” otherwise action would be pursued against them. The watchdog also issued an attendance notice to the anchor which ordered him to appear at the FIA Cybercrime Reporting Centre in Islamabad on May 13 (Friday) at 11am to record his defense, otherwise it would be assumed that he had nothing to present in his defense and procedure under Section 174 (non­attendance in obedience to an order from public servant) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) would be adopted against him. The attendance notice mentioned the state as the complainant and said the inquiry was registered on May 6. It said the inquiry was being initiated under Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016, (which had criminalized defamation), read with Section 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) of the PPC. The notice said the anchor had intentionally and publicly shared an alleged video on social media in which “false and frivolous” allegations were made against senior government functionaries. “Furthermore, you have built a narrative with ill intent to cause intimidation … and unrest between government officials/personnel of armed forces and the general public,” it added. For his part, Ibrahim confirmed on Twitter that a case has been filed against him. He added that he had discussed the matter with his lawyer who had conveyed to the FIA that he was abroad and he would be returning to the country on May 14 (Saturday). It is pertinent to mention here that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) last month declared the Prevention of Elect­ronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance as unconstitutional and also scrapped the Peca-2016’s section 20, which criminalizes defamation. The FIA had sought Section 20’s restoration on Saturday by filing a petition before the Supreme Court to challenge the April 8 order of the IHC. However, hours later Information Minis­ter Marriyum Aurangzeb announ­ced that the petition stood “withdrawn immediately” after journalists’ and media bodies expressed serious concern over the move and dema­nded immediate withdrawal of the petition. The FIA spokesperson subsequently admitted that the appeal was filed without getting permission from the government, particularly the Ministry of Interior. “The appeal is being withdrawn immediately,” the official had confirmed to Dawn. On May 10, Justice Minallah restrained FIA from arresting anchorperson Sami Abraham till May 16. The court also summoned director FIA’s Cyber Crimes Wing (CCW) to appear on the said date. The FIA has initiated proceeding against Abraham for allegedly transmitting anti-state videos and statements on various social media platforms, including regarding the army and judiciary. The FIA claimed that Mr Abraham was involved in spreading fake news regarding state institutions. Abraham is currently in the US, hence, his mother filed the petition before the IHC through advocate Raja Amir Abbas. Justice Minallah inquired the counsel for Abraham the reason for initiation of the inquiry. The CJ remarked that many journalists were apparently not doing fair journalism. The counsel for Abraham told the court that his client will return to Pakistan on May 16. He said that the FIA’s notice did not mention name of any complainant and the agency accused him for inciting mutiny within army. The court, however, issued a restraining order and adjourned further hearing till May 16. On May 18, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday disposed of a petition against possible action of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against the TV anchor Sami Ibrahim. Chief Justice of IHC Athar Minallah heard the case filed by the mother of Sami Ibrahim, who asked the court to direct the FIA that it does not act against her son. Whereas the CJ remarked that the petition was filed when the petitioner realized that there was a possibility of anchor’s arrest after his return. He (CJ) further noted the FIA had stated in its reply that no FIR was registered against Sami Ibrahim and matter still was at stage of inquiry. The CJ also added that the FIA had assured the court that relevant SOPs would be followed in this case. Deputy Attorney General Syed Tayyab Shah requested the court to direct Sami Ibrahim to become part of inquiry. Moreover the court directed the FIA to also inform the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) regarding the allegations against Sami Ibrahim. Following the said observations, the court disposed of the petition."

Category of Incident

Case register

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


Date of incident






Name of affected person

Sami Ibrahim

Other affected persons

No other person affected

Name of affected organization

Bol News

Other affected organizations

No other organization affected

Action by

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)




Capital Territory


Anchor Person

Professional category


Age of victim


Marital Status


Compensation Details

Amount of compensation announced by government: No compensation announced

Date of compensation announcement by government: No compensation announced

Date of compensation paid by government: No compensation announced

Amount of compensation announced by others: No compensation announced

Date of compensation announced by others: No compensation announced

Date compensation paid by others: No compensation announced

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: Case closed

Journalist Union Status


PFUJ condemned




Media Source Status

Media reports:

Condemn Status

Colleague of victim

Not applicable

Employer organization

Bol News condemned.

Press Club Status

Press club 1: Not applicable

Press club 2: N/A

Press club 3: N/A