TV channels barred from airing news on rape

Capital police still clueless about suspected rapist of woman

Our Correspondent February 08, 2023


The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has barred all television channels from airing news or reports about the F-9 Park rape incident to protect the victim’s identity.

An initial medical confirmed that the 24-year-old woman was subjected to rape at Fatima Jinnah Park in Islamabad.

The victim was allegedly raped by two armed men at Fatima Jinnah Park on February 2. According to the victim*, she was visiting the F-9 Park along with a male companion when she was raped by the suspects at gunpoint.

According to sources, police have received the initial medical report of the victim and the sexual abuse has been ‘proved’. The Islamabad police have sent samples to Lahore for a forensic test, the sources said.

In a notification issued, the PEMRA said that few satellite television channels are running reports with regard to the rape case wherein the identity of the survivor was revealed.

“This is a violation of clause 8 of PEMRA Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisments) Code of Conduct 2015. While exercising powers conferred under Section 27 (a) of the PEMRA Ordinance, 2002, as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, broadcast/rebroadcast of news/reports with regard to F-9 Park Islamabad incident is PROHIBITED, with immediate effect,” the notification said.

In the case of non-compliance, the PEMRA warned, the licence of the television channel may be suspended without any show cause notice in the public interest along with other enabling provisions of law.

Since the shocking incident took place, the park has become a symbol of fear and dread for the citizens e specially for women.

On the other hand, the police have failed to arrest the culprits six days after the horrifying incident.

Earlier, sources said that Islamabad Police Inspector-General Dr Akbar Khan expressed his anger at the police officers concerned for the unusual delay and failure to arrest the accused. The Islamabad police chief has asked them to arrest the culprits at the earliest so that they could be made an example for others.

According to the sources, Margalla Station and Saddar zone police have completed geo-fencing of the crime scene and collected data of more than 1000 people.

Police sources said that the police also conducted medical tests of more than 300 people whose data had been collected through geo-fencing. According to the sources, not a single person tested positive.

Police sources told The Express Tribune that a separate team has also been formed to carry out a detailed review of CCTV footage of people who entered the F-9 Park on the day of the incident on February 2.

A senior officer of the capital police admitted the delay in arresting the culprits but added that they were investigating the case from every angle.

Answering a question, he said that the process of geofencing has been completed and soon the accused will be brought to justice.

He said that the police have investigated several people including the CDA staff deployed in the park. More people will be investigated, he said.

He said that the victim was suffering from severe mental stress. According to the sources, when the police contacted her to help them prepare the sketches of the suspects, “she expressed her shock at the unprofessional attitude and incompetence.”

Answering a question, the police officer said that in the past, the CDA staff on duty in the park were found involved in a rape incident and their involvement this time around could not be ruled out and they were keeping that aspect in mind during the investigation.

Meanwhile, the CDA has also decided to establish a helpline and installation of cameras at F-9 Park for surveillance.


Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2023.


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