Two held for filming, blackmailing KU students
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing on Wednesday, January 5, announced the arrest of two suspects for stalking, filming and blackmailing at least 14 Karachi University (KU) students.
The suspects, identified as Adnan Ali and Fazal Dad, are residents of KU’s staff town. One of them works as a rickshaw driver while the other is employed as the chauffeur for a university lecturer. According to the FIA, Ali and Dad filmed couples in various spots in and around the university, and were blackmailing them. The duo was arrested after a female student lodged a case against the suspects who were forcing her to meet them in private and pay them a ransom. Save the one complainant, no other student came forward to press charges against Ali and Dad due to privacy concerns.
The Agency said that a forensic analysis of digital equipment seized from the suspects confirmed that at least 14 male and female students were being stalked and harassed, and that investigation was currently ongoing to ascertain the possible involvement of other culprits.
CPJ concerned over indictment of newspersons
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the indictment of Jang Media Group editor-in-chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, investigations editor of The News International Ansar Abbasi, and Aamir Ghauri by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
The IHC on December 28, 2021, decided to indict the journalists for criminal contempt of court in relation to a November 15 investigative news piece by Abbasi regarding alleged judicial interference of former Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar in a corruption case involving former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
In its statement, CPJ’s Asia Programme Coordinator Steven Butler, termed the IHC’s decision “a disturbing act of retaliation for reporting a matter of public interest.”
“The decision creates a dangerous judicial precedent that could lead to further retaliation against journalists who are simply doing their jobs,” it read.
HRCP implores media to report on marginalized communities
In a Wednesday consultation with various senior journalists and media workers, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) urged for inclusive reporting on the concerns of minorities and marginalized groups in Pakistan.
Regional Coordinator (Karachi) Kaleem Durrani explained that the aim of the consultation is to sensitize media and build a consensus with newsmen on how to better highlight the issues plaguing vulnerable communities. Journalists noted that the media is wont to report on minorities when there is discrediting news about them or if they were mistreated, in which interest is then redirected to statements by NGOs or street protests.
They noted that rising extremism was dissuading minorities in Pakistan from opening up to media, and that biases are rampant among reporters who run headlines in favour or against certain groups, such as the slew of negative coverage of Aurat March.
The consultation also identified the creation of a new vulnerable community, known as “climate-induced migrated people’ who are facing displacement and homelessness due to climate change, such as desertification and flooding.