HRCP condemns harassment of Irfana Mallah, Shahzaib Jilani

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LAHORE (ENN) Following attempts to malign academic Dr Arfana Mallah and the FIR lodged against journalist Shahzeb Jillani, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed its alarm at ‘the frequency with which human rights defenders and journalists are made the subject of propaganda amounting to incitement.’

In a statement issued on Saturday, HRCP said that it ‘stands in solidarity with both Dr Mallah and Jilani. The fact that an unverified news item implying that Dr Mallah expressed “anti-state” sentiments was broadcast by the channel is troubling.

In addition, the FIR lodged against Jilani under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016, accusing him of casting aspersions on state institutions, is baseless and absurd.

HRCP’s statement issued by Chairperson Dr Mehdi Hasan demanded that the FIR against Jilani be quashed: questioning a journalist’s “loyalty” or “patriotism” for having criticised state institutions must cease to be the norm.’

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