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Thursday April 25, 2024

FIA ordered to ensure no social media activist harassed illegally

IHC's order comes after PTI moves court following arrest of social media activists by FIA

By Awais Yousafzai
April 14, 2022
The building of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). — IHC website
The building of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). — IHC website

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

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.

"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.