PESHAWAR: A man was handed down 12 years in prison in Peshawar on Tuesday for creating a fake Facebook profile of a woman and then blackmailing her.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs0.3 million on Muhammad Munir.
The duration of the sentence handed down by additional session judge Usman Ali is unprecedented in the country’s history of cybercrime cases.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested Munir in March 2015 under the Electronics Transaction Ordinance 2002 for illegally accessing someone’s electronic data.
FIA Peshawar Deputy Director Ayaz Khan, who spearheaded the investigation, told The Express Tribune that the woman had complained that Munir created a fake Facebook profile using her name and then uploaded photos to blackmail her.
“We arrested him and conducted an investigation under the cyber crime laws,” said Khan.
Khan added that Munir had appealed to the Peshawar High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan to grant him bail, however, it was denied.
Pakistan recently ushered in the cybercrime laws to clamp down on the misuse of the social space in the country.
The bill, however, has led to criticism from different quarters which believe the bill infringes on their right to freedom of expression.
Earlier in 2015, two young boys were arrested by the FIA for running a Facebook page to harass and blackmail female students studying in colleges in Peshawar.
Khan said complaints of cybercrimes had increased after the passing of the ‘Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2016.