Wikimedia’s free online encyclopedia Wikipedia locked Reham Khan’s page after more than eight attempts were made to vandalise and destroy the journalist’s online presence.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Saqib Qayyum, member of Wikipedia’s Help Desk and a volunteer editor said episodes of vandalism began on June 3 when an unknown individual changed Reham’s date of birth from 1973 to 1963. The next day, her place of birth was changed from Ajdabiya, Libya to Heera Mandi, Lahore.
Heera Mandi is a red-light neighbourhood and bazaar located inside the old city of Lahore, near the Taxali Gate. Since then, users have made derogatory remarks regarding Reham.
Her introduction on the Wikipedia page states, “Reham Nayyar Khan| ریحام نئیر خان born 3 April 1973 is a journalist and film producer of British Pakistani descent.” However, users on the page changed ‘journalist’ to ‘Nalaiq‘ [useless], ‘professional liar’ and ‘Pakistani phuppo’.
Her official website was changed from www.rehamkhanofficial.com to www.rehamkhansexofficial.com in an attempt to defame and disrespect her.
The Arabic/Urdu translation of her name was also changed. Attempts were also made to change her name to offensive and derogatory terms.
On June 4, Reham was served a legal notice by her first husband, Imran Khan, a British businessman, and a PTI official over the contents of her upcoming book.
The journalist’s tell-all autobiography reportedly includes details of her interactions with various celebrities and her marriage with Imran. Some of those details apparently crossed a line for businessman Zulfikar Bukhari, Reham’s first husband Ijaz Rehman, cricketer Wasim Akram, and PTI International Media Coordinator Anila Khawaja.
The notice issued by British law firm Sweetman Burke and Sinker on May 30 says that each of them received copies of the manuscript for her book from an anonymous source. The book contains “a litany of malicious, false, incorrect, highly misleading, callous, wanton, tortious, prejudicial, damaging, libellous, and defamatory imputations” directed towards the filers.
On the same day, Reham served a defamation notice on actor Hamza Abbasi. Her lawyer Yasser Latif Hamdani confirmed this while speaking with The Express Tribune.
The notice says that since June 2, Abbasi has been spreading, publishing and broadcasting several communications, statements and representations online and in print and broadcast media against Reham, including accusing her of receiving GBP100,000 from the PML-N and Shehbaz Sharif. It also lists the accusation that Reham was in contact via email with PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, adding that Iqbal has denied this and clarified that he never contacted her through email and had only met her a few times while appearing as a guest on her TV show.