April 18, 2019
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) have strongly condemned the charges against journalist Shahzeb Jillani and demanded they be dropped immediately.
Jillani is charged for cyber-terrorism over comments made about the Pakistan Army.
He is associated with Dunya News and was previously with BBC and Deutsche Welle. He has been charged under Pakistan’s Penal Code and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act.
The charges relate to Shahzeb’s appearance on the ‘Aaj Kamran Khan Show’ on March 18. During the program, Shahzeb gave his analysis on the enforced disappearances allegedly carried out by the Pakistan military.
Also, Shahzeb was charged over a tweet he published highlighting the allegations of political engineering by the Pakistan Army General, Faiz.
The case against Shahzeb has been registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The charges include cyber terrorism and defamation, and he faces over 14 years in jail.
PFUJ President GM Jamali said that they condemn the actions taken against Shahzeb Jillani by the FIA. “PFUJ is in constant contact with Shahzeb regarding this issue and will provide him with all support possible. This is a tough time for Pakistani journalists,” Jamali said.
The IFJ said: “The charges against Shahzeb Jillani for simply voicing his opinion are a blatant attempt to silence critical voices in Pakistan. The Army and Pakistan authorities cannot simply jail journalists for reporting on their activities. Press freedom in Pakistan must be defended.” – IFJ media release
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