FIA arrests three for posting blasphemous content on social media

Published: March 24, 2017

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday handed over three suspects to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for seven days for their alleged involvement in publishing blasphemous content on social media.

Officials informed the court that mobile phones, laptops and computers have been seized from the suspects’ possession and sent for forensic examination.

They said that the suspects have been arrested on the suspicion of sharing and spreading blasphemous content via social media.

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During the remand hearing, ATC Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi directed authorities to present the suspects in the next hearing with an investigation report.

On Wednesday, in a case at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui revealed that the court would take a decision on whether or not social media platforms which host blasphemous content should be banned during the next hearing of that case on March 27.

The court, while hearing a case pertaining to the dissemination of blasphemous content through social media, also asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to submit its latest findings in this regard in the form of a report on March 27.

Justice Siddiqui observed that availability of blasphemous material on social media has direct bearing on the integrity, security and defence of Pakistan and all institutions need to rise to the occasion in order to protect the ideological and geographical boundaries of the country.

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During the hearing, the FIA DG informed the court that they have completed their inquiry and have also registered a case. One suspect was also arrested on suspicion of sharing and spreading blasphemous content via social media, the FIA DG informed the court.

IHC earlier ordered the authorities concerned to include sections related to blasphemy and pornography in the Cyber Crimes Act and inquire about non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating with an agenda to spread blasphemous content and promote pornography.

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