IHC directs DG FIA to ensure no official subjects social media activists to harassment

IHC directs DG FIA to ensure no official subjects social media activists to harassment

Social network words and social media logos are seen through magnifiers displayed in this illustration taken, on May 25, 2021.  — Reuters
Social network words and social media logos are seen through magnifiers displayed in this illustration taken, on May 25, 2021.  — Reuters
  • FIA arrests several PTI activists for maligning security institutions.
  • PTI contests its social media activists being harassed illegally.
  • IHC tells DG FIA to ensure no social media activist is harassed.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday ordered the director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure that no officers subject social media activists to harassment. 

The PTI had moved the court after several of the party’s social media activists, including Dr Arsalan Khan — former prime minister Imran Khan’s focal person on digital media — were arrested or went missing.

In a two-page order, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said the PTI had contended that its political workers and activists were being illegally harassed by the FIA.

“The court has been informed that [Dr Arsalan Khalid’s] residence was raided and he was kept in illegal detention,” the IHC CJ said.

Read more: FIA arrests twelve for ‘maligning’ Pakistan Army online

“The Director-General, Federal Investigation is directed to ensure that its officers do not violate the SOPs that had been submitted before the Court and that workers and activists of the petitioner party are not illegally harassed,” the order read.

The FIA has so far arrested over a dozen suspects for alleged involvement in launching a social media campaign against the Pakistan Army and maligning security institutions, following recent political developments in the country.

The drive against the security institutions began with the ouster of Imran Khan as the prime minister as PTI activists largely condemned the move in tens of thousands of tweets, saying that they would not accept what they call “the imported government” under Shehbaz Sharif.

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