Saturday October 16, 2021

Journalist moves SHC against conviction on terrorism charges

December 31, 2019

Senior journalist Nasarullah Khan filed an appeal in the Sindh High Court on Monday against an anti-terrorism court’s judgement that convicted him under anti-terrorism law for possessing literature of banned organisations.

Khan, who has been associated with an Urdu daily, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on November 26 for possessing literature and magazines of banned organisations that incited hatred against state institutions and government, besides having links with activists of a proscribed organisation.

According to the prosecution, the Counter Terrorism Department had arrested the journalist after receiving information from a spy in the Soldier Bazaar area on November 11, 2018, and seized from his possession four backdated magazines of Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad containing Jihadi literature in which people had been incited against state institutions and for sectarian hatred and supporting the late Afghan Talban emir, Mullah Omer.

The appellant’s counsel, Mohammad Farooq, submitted that his client was a senior journalist who had nothing to do with any proscribed organisation. He submitted that Khan was arrested from his house on November 10 and after two days’ illegal detention he was implicated in a false and fabricated case.

He submitted that material shown to be recovered from the possession of the journalist was old magazines and police failed to prove that the appellant was printing, publishing or disseminating any material to incite hatred to the public or giving projection to any person convicted of terrorist acts.

The counsel said the joint investigation team’s opinion had no value in the eyes of the law; besides, it failed to prove any nexus between his client and any proscribed organisation. He submitted that the trial court erred in judgment by convicting the appellant as the prosecution case was full of doubts and based on fictitious grounds, and requested the court to set aside the trial court order and acquit the appellant of charges.