FIA arrests Journalist for criticizing State Institutions on Social Media

social media FIA

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a news reporter last Sunday for allegedly writing against national security institutions on social media.

FIA took Zafarullah Achakzai into custody under the controversial Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and presented him in front of a judge who granted a six-day remand.

Mr Achakzai works for Qudrat which is a Quetta-based daily. According to his father, Niamat­ullah Achakzai, who is also the editor-in-chief of Qudrat, their entire neighbourhood was surrounded by the security before they arrested his son.

FIA informed Niamatullah on Thursday that he has been arrested under the cybercrime law, four days after he was taken in by the authorities.

Since the last few months, the FIA along with Interior Ministry has been active in tracing and investigating social media users who are allegedly causing chaos through their posts.

Recently, the cybercrime unit has started hunting the users who posted or expressed their views which were against the Pakistan Army. On Wednesday, Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar asked the security agency to take strict action against the individuals that are promoting sectarianism in Pakistan.

In May 2017, Nisar also directed Chairman PTA to formulate SOPs for putting in place a framework which ensures social media is being used positively. He asked for devising a system that ensures freedom of expression while simultaneously checking unbridled misuse of social media.

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