Pakistan: journalist accused of incitement in anti-terrorism case

  • 23 Mar 2023

The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists in condemning the arrest and detention of Siddique Jan, BOL News Bureau chief.

The journalist is accused of provoking violence against authorities by posting videos on social media of police shelling supporters of Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan, as he appeared in court for a corruption case filed by the country’s Election Commission.

On 21 March, Jan appeared before an anti-terrorism court where footage of him asking a police officer to cease firing tear gas canisters into the crowd in fear of retaliation from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party supporters was shown.

Earlier this month, Jan had successfully challenged a notice accusing him of incitement by Pakistan’s Federation Investigation Agency, with a High Court ordering an end to the police harassment against him. 

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the journalists’ arrest outside of his offices and deemed actions as “tantamount to curtailing the freedom of the media.”

The IFJ said:

“As the number of complaints filed against journalists increases, so do concerns for press freedom in Pakistan. The government must respect the fundamental right to freedom of expression and protect media workers from harassment, intimidation, and arbitrary detainment. The IFJ condemns the arrest of Siddique Jan and urges the authorities to ensure that journalists can report on matters of public interest without fear of retaliation or persecution.”

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