It’s lawlessness to shoot and torture journalists, says Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Pakistan stated that the shooting and torture of journalists is lawlessness.
These remarks came during the hearing of a suo moto case concerning the harassment of journalists.
There are lawful alternatives available if anyone has issues with journalists, Qazi Muhammad Amin said.
Shooting journalists or torturing them is equivalent to lawlessness, he added.
The court asked if those responsible for shooting a journalist in Islamabad have been detained.
The court was informed by the Islamabad Police IG Qazi Jamil‑ur‑Rehman that they had sent the footage of the attack to Nadra but the shooters could not be recognized.
Justice Amin asked if suspects from the Minar-e-Pakistan incident can be arrested, why not the attackers of journalists.
Justice Amin said that the IG should make sure that those who attack journalists are arrested.
He told the IG it was his disappointment if the accused have not been detained.
The court further said that it will not permit character assassination in the name of journalism.
If I create a YouTube account and start character assassination of people, will it be considered journalism, asked Justice Munib Akhtar.
We will not provide protection to personal action in the name of journalism, said Justice Amin.
Whereas, FIA Director-General Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi told the court that the investigation agency received 27 complaints against journalists in four years.
Out of 27 complaints, four were transformed into investigations, and cases were registered, he said.
We will see if actions taken under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act are inconsistent with Article 19 of the Constitution, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said.
No institution, including the FIA, will be allowed to exceed its power, said Justice Ahsan.
He said the FIA relates the electronic crimes act first then thinks about it.
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