PESHAWAR/WASHINGTON: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered a case against Prof Muhammad Ismail for allegedly spreading "hate speech and fake information against government institutions of Pakistan" on the social media.
Human rights activist Gulalai Ismail, daughter of Prof Muhammad Ismail, Thursday tweeted that her father had been picked up outside the Peshawar High Court.
The FIR stated that Sajid Iqbal, Ali Ahmad, Riazur Rehman and Walid Mir had lodged a complaint against him on October 8 with the office of additional director Cyber Crime Wing, FIA Peshawar.
It said the accused being guilty of the offence had been arrested and brought to the FIA Cyber Crime Circle Police Station. “The case was discussed with approval of competent authority for registration and a case under Section 10, 11 Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2016, r/w 109 PPC is registered against the accused Muhammad Ismail,” it added.
However, Gulalai Ismail reacted to her micro blogging site: “PECA (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act) is a controversial law passed in 2016 with the purpose of punishing voices of dissent & rationale.
My father, after staying missing for 20 hours, was produced before the magistrate today along with a malicious FIR booked against him under PECA.” Meanwhile, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal Friday said Professor Ismail had been detained by the law enforcement agencies in a cyber crime case.
“Prof. Mohammad Ismail has been detained by the law enforcement authorities in Peshawar in a case of cyber crime as per our laws. Being a citizen of Pakistan, Prof. Ismail is entitled to due process and right of defence provided in the Constitution,” he tweeted.
US Concern: Meanwhile, the United States said it was “concerned” by reports about the detention of Prof Muhammad Ismail. Alice Wells, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, tweeted her concern late Thursday over “reports of continued harassment of Gulalai Ismail´s family, and her father´s detention today”.
She said the US called on Pakistan to “uphold citizens´ rights to peaceful assembly, expression, and due process”. Wells tweeted after Ismail — who fled to the US and is seeking asylum — said her father Mohammad Ismail had been taken away by unknown men earlier Thursday outside a court in Peshawar.
Rabia Mehmood, a Pakistan researcher for Amnesty International, tweeted that he was in the custody of the cybercrime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). FIA officials had no immediate comment. A senior Pakistani security source who spoke to AFP over WhatsApp said: “We (have) nothing to do with this.”
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