Sedition cases have been registered against anchors Imran Riaz Khan, Arshad Sharif, Sabir Shakir and Sami Ibrahim for allegedly criticising state institutions, and ‘inciting mutiny’.
On Sunday it was found that a case had been registered against Imran Riaz Khan in Thatta’s Dhabeji police station under Sections 131 (incitement to mutiny), 153 (provoking to cause riot), 452 (trespassing) and 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
According to the complainant, Khan had been heard casting aspersions on the military during his talk show. The complainant claimed Khan had been disrespectful to the army.
Similarly, two FIRs were registered against anchorperson Arshad Sharif, who was also booked on similar charges of sedition, under Sections 131, 153 and 5050 of the PPC.
The FIRs against Sharif cited remarks he made on his YouTube Channel with fellow journalist Matiuallah Jan, where he was allegedly being derogatory towards the army, as being the reason for the charges against him.
Yet another FIR was registered in Dadu, against Sharif and fellow anchorperson Sabir Shakir, who had both, according to the complainant, used defamatory language in regards to the military. The FIR also accused them of using the analogy of Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq to spread hate against the army.
Previously on Friday, a similar case had been registered against anchorperson Sami Ibrahim, who was also booked on defamation charges. Ibrahim, who was booked under Sections 131, 499 and 505 was accused of spreading hatred, and attempting to ‘seduce’ a soldier from his duty.
The journalists are generally understood to be supportive of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Arshad Sharif, in a hearing at the Islamabad High Court today (Monday), was granted protective bail. It was revealed during the hearing that at least eight cases have been registered against him all over the country.
Meanwhile PTI chairperson Imran Khan also condemned the cases against the four journalists, who are generally understood to be closer to PTI.
Khan accused the coalition government of ‘politically victimizing’ the four journalists through what he called fake FIRs.