LAHORE: Digital Media Alliance of Pakistan (DigiMAP) strongly condemns the arrest of journalists Amir Mir and Syed Imran Shafqat.
DigiMAP President Sabookh Syed, in a statement on Saturday, said this is yet another voice to curb journalistic freedoms in the country and stifle any and all forms of dissent.
Amir Mir, brother of senior journalist Hamid Mir, runs a Youtube channel Googly TV while Syed Imran Shafqat runs his own Youtube channel ‘Tellings with Imran Shafqat’. The two journalists were ‘abducted’ on Saturday morning.
DigiMAP strongly condemns abduction of journalists Amir Mir and Syed Imran Shafqat. This is yet another voice to curb journalistic freedoms in the country and stifle any and all forms of dissent. #JournalismNotACrime#AmirMir #ImranShafqat
— digimappk (@digimappk) August 7, 2021
Senior journalist Hamid Mir tweeted that his brother had been ‘abducted’ by the cybercrime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). He added that Amir Mir was ‘abducted’ while on his way to the office from home.
According to senior journalist and editor of Humsub.com.pk Wajahat Masood, Imran Shafqat was also ‘abducted’ by the FIA’s cyber crime wing.
DigiMAP believes this is an attempt to silence the journalists critical of government policies, the statement adds.
It demands immediate release of the ‘abducted’ journalists and urges the Supreme Court to take notice of the blatant abuse of power by the federal institution, the statement reads.
In its press release, the FIA has stated that the two journalists were arrested for ‘airing programs that undermined the trust of the people of Pakistan in its security institutions and the superior courts’. The agency also says that Mir and Shafqat were booked for ‘being disrespectful towards women’.
One needs to see whether any complaint was filed & registered against #AmirMir & #ImranShafqat? Or, #FIA has taken a ‘suo moto’ action against them? This press release makes the entire episode quite dubious! pic.twitter.com/qM0u9bTm1f
— Aftab Alam (@aftabalam_77) August 7, 2021
DigiMAP believes that breaking into journalists’ homes to ‘arrest’ them or tracing their cars for the purpose could not be justified under any circumstances.
“If the journalists have violated some law, this should definitely be investigated. But the manner in which they were taken away by the FIA officials was by no means professional or legal, said DigiMAP President Sabookh.
This practice of harassing journalists and their families must end now”, he added.
According to the FIA press release, Syed Imran Shafqat and Amir Mir have now been released on bail but the investigation is still going on and a challan will be presented before the court after collecting more evidence.