Pakistani government tortures anti-military social media activists


Dozens of social media users in Pakistan have been detained or interrogated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) two weeks ago for posting anti-military acts, opposition parties and activists says. On Friday, FIA reportedly compiled a list of 33 social media users for carrying out propaganda against Pakistani Army, according to the Nation Newspaper.

These activists are involved in cyber crime through which they are creating social integration, violence, instability and chaos in the country. These activists are vulnerable to crime and can lead to victimized as effectively as physical crimes. It is a criminal activity involving computers and networks used to ruin the prestige and dignity of the nation.

The crackdown was launched two weeks ago on the order of the Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ahmad. He took notice against criticism against the armed forces following a tweet by the Inter-Services Public Relations rejecting a government notification published in Dawn newspaper.

FIA cybercrime have been approaching Facebook accounts, various WhatsApp groups, blogs and websites suspected to carry out such materials.

Parliament has passed cybercrime law last year in August, 2016.

At 23 PTI’s (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) activists were detained and threatened with action under the law of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, Fawad Hussain Chaudhary, a spokesman for the party told AFP news agency on Monday, per Al Jazeera news agency.

It is the first time in the history of Pakistan the new law has been used in a broad crackdown against political opposition. Two people were charged under the law, including one of the sharing a statistical picture of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and on bail pending further investigation.

“One of our supporters was abducted from Quetta and brought to Islamabad in an armored car. People are being harassed and its spreading fear”, the spokesman of Tehreek-e-Insaaf said. He added the party will sue the government for intimidation and harassment in Islamabad High Court.

Pakistani journalist said he had received an intimidating call from an alleged FIA official who asked him to appear in person to explain his social media activity.

The interior ministry declined to comment on the cases.

“stood by our detained activists and their families. Freedom of expression and democracy go hand-in-hand,” PTI Vice president Shah Mehmood Qureshi said after visiting FIA headquarter on Sunday.

Nighat Daad, Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation considered it strong political movement.

In short, by doing this , cyber criminals who exploit flaws in software packages may be thwarted. This is also a number of automated and simple attacks criminals use to create chaos in the society. It is milestone on the way to peace. Pakistan is facing a lot of challenges. The particular concern was a clause that empowered the government to ban speech consider “against the glory of Islam and the sovereignty, integrity or defense of Pakistan”.



Corespondent: Syeda Faiza Bukhari

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