Islamabad [Pakistan], June 15 (TN): Two more journalists have been arrested by the Pakistan police on charges of sedition and terrorism related to the May 9 incident, Dawn reported.
Anchorpersons Sabir Shakir and Moeed Pirzada were booked in connection with the incident, where an angry mob vandalized property at Melody Chowk. The complainant stated that the mob received instructions through video messages from Sabir Shakir, Moeed Hassan Pirzada, and Syed Akbar Hussain, the Dawn reported.
In the May 9 incident, the complainant was present at Melody Chowk where an angry mob vandalised property, taking instructions from Sabir Shakir, Moeed Hassan Pirzada and Syed Akbar Hussain via video messages, FIR claimed.
Earlier, journalists Shaheen Sehbai and Wajahat Saeed Khan, YouTuber Adil Raja (a former army officer), and anchorperson Syed Haider Raza Mehdi were also arrested in the same case.
On May 9, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan was arrested at the Islamabad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case. After his arrest, protests erupted in Pakistan and military installations including the Lahore corps commander’s residence and state properties were attacked in Pakistan.
In an FIR registered on Monday, complainant Muhammad Aslam said he was passing by Islamabad’s G-11 locality on May 9 when he witnessed 20-25 people sharing “screenshots of tweets and video messages” of Adil Raja, Wajahat Saeed Khan, Syed Haider Raza Mehdi and Shaheen Sehbai, Dawn reported.
The FIR lodged at the Ramna police station included sections 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan), 121A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121), and 131 (abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty). The FIR also included sections 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism) and 21A (cordons for Terrorist Investigation) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, as per the Dawn report.
Separately, global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged Pakistan to immediately dismiss the “ludicrous mutiny accusations in a complaint with no credibility” that an individual has brought against two journalists in the federal capital.
Although manifestly absurd, the charges could carry the death penalty, it said, adding that the two journalists accused of “abetting mutiny” in a complaint filed with the Islamabad police on 12 June are Wajahat Saeed Khan, a freelancer based in the US, and Shaheen Sehbai, a former newspaper editor, reported Dawn. (TN)