Pakistan court asks intelligence agency not to arrest TV journalist

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A court in Islamabad has ordered a key Pakistani intelligence agency not to arrest a prominent broadcaster accused of spreading fake news and army-hate content on social media, his colleagues said Wednesday.

Journalist Sammy Abraham is currently in the United States on a personal visit and will return this week, according to his lawyer, Raja Amir Abbas.

Abraham’s colleagues said a court in Islamabad on Tuesday ordered the FIA ​​to allow him to remain free until at least May 16 for a court hearing.

The latest developments come amid a growing campaign against the army by social media activist and the Tehreek-e-Insaf party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was ousted last month through a no-confidence vote in parliament. step down.

Khan himself has publicly criticized the country’s military chief, General Kamal Javid Bajwa, but has not named him directly. Khan has claimed that an American conspiracy carried out by his political opponents brought him down. Washington has denied the allegation, and Pakistani authorities have urged people not to spread what they call “fake news” to attack state institutions, including the military and the judiciary.

In a statement the day before, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists also asked Pakistani authorities to “drop the investigation of journalist Sammy Abraham.” Police attacked journalist Jahangir Hayat” who was briefly detained by police this month in the eastern city of Lahore along with his wife and daughter.

Pakistan has long been an unsafe country for journalists. In 2020, it was ranked ninth in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual Global Impunity Index, which assesses countries where journalists are routinely killed and attackers go unpunished.

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