April 21, 2019

FIA books TV host Rizwan ‘Dada’ under Peca, PPC for ‘defaming’ state institutions

News Source: Dawn

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has booked Din News TV host Rizwanur Rehman Razi ‘Dada’ on charges that he posted “defamatory and obnoxious” content against the judiciary, government institutions and intelligence agencies on his Twitter account, it emerged on Saturday.

The FIA, in an FIR dated Feb 8, has stated that Razi was “summoned” to join the inquiry and have his statement recorded.

The agency’s phrasing of its report conflicts with an update posted on Razi’s Facebook account, where someone claiming to be his son said that Razi was bundled into a car and “abducted” from their home.

The agency, in the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn, further states that the accused “admitted” to uploading content against the judiciary and other departments, and was “very embarrassed” and had even apologised.

Razi, as per the FIA’s FIR, promised that he would “not upload such derogatory/humiliating posts” against state institutions such as the judiciary, Pakistan Armed forces and intelligence agencies.

Osama Rizi, son of a journalist Rizwan-Rehman, displays a calendar with the pictures of his father outside his residence in Lahore. —AP
Osama Rizi, son of a journalist Rizwan-Rehman, displays a calendar with the pictures of his father outside his residence in Lahore. —AP

The FIA said that Razi’s mobile phone was confiscated during the inquiry and a forensic data extraction report was obtained.

Furthermore, the agency said that it has “accorded permission to register a case” against Razi.

The FIR against Razi mentions Sections 11 and 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (Peca) — a cyber-crime law which had been widely criticised by civil rights campaigners as ‘draconian’ at the time of its passage by the Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N government.

Read more: Controversial Cyber Crime Bill approved by NA

Section 11 pertains to hate speech and can carry a prison sentence of up to seven years, as well as a fine.

Section 20, meanwhile, pertains to “offences against the dignity of a natural person” and carries “imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which may extend to Rs1 million”.

The FIR against Razi also mentions Section 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which pertains to defamation and carries “an imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both”.

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