Victim of State Fascism: Everything you need to know about Imran Riaz Khan’s case

As per the FIRs, the anchorperson's actions were in violation of the Constitution of Pakistan, adding that he has 'hurt' the feelings of the people of Pakistan.

Journalist Imran Riaz Khan

Renowned anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan was arrested by Punjab police in Attock on the 5th of July 2022. He was on his way to Islamabad for an extension in bail.

Earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had barred the police from arresting Imran Riaz Khan under the jurisdiction of the court. So when he got arrested, it raised concerns regarding the police violating the order of IHC as well as him being targeted through an organized campaign for his views.

The anchorperson’s lawyer filed a contempt of court petition against his arrest, which was disposed of. According to Chief Justice Athar Minallah of IHC, the arrest was made in Attock, outside his court’s jurisdiction.

Cases Against Imran Riaz Khan:

Multiple cases have been registered against the renowned anchorperson across different cities of Punjab. On June 30th, three cases were filed against him: one in Gojra and two in Jhang – on the complaints of three separate people.

As per the FIRs, the anchorperson’s actions were in violation of the Constitution of Pakistan, adding that he has ‘hurt’ the feelings of the people of Pakistan.

The cases were filed under Sections 505-1 ©, 505-2, 501, and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) alongside various sections of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016.

A case was also registered in Muzaffargarh under the Anti-Electronic Crime Act and other laws, alleging that Imran Riaz Khan caused damage to the reputation of the Pakistan Army. There are 20 such cases against him in different cities of Punjab.

Court Orders To Revoke Charges Framed Under Sections of PECA 2016:

A Rawalpindi court ordered the police to revoke all the charges filed against him under the Prevention Of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. The order was given after an Assistant Director (legal) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) – Malik Sikandar – told the court that the police were wrong in lodging the FIR regarding the PECA sections.

He added that the journalist had not made any offense according to the PECA sections and the FIA was not interested to pursue the case against him. The court then ordered the investigating officer to produce him before a court in Attock.

Attock Court’s Release Order:

The Attock police had to release Imran Riaz Khan after a local court’s verdict. However, moments after his release, he was arrested by the Chakwal police outside the courtroom. He has multiple sedition cases registered against him in different cities.

Chakwal Police Fails To Present Him Before Court:

After being taken into custody, the Chakwal police didn’t present him in front of a court more than a day after his post-arrest bail by a local court in Attock. His lawyer had revealed that neither his client was produced before a magisterial court nor anyone is being allowed to meet him.

Chakwal Court Denies Remand of Imran Riaz Khan

After being finally presented in court on Friday, a local court rejected the police request for his physical remand. After the refusal of the judge to remand him in police custody, Imran Riaz Khan has now been arrested by Lahore police.

Condemnation By International Journalists’ Bodies:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has urged the government of Pakistan to withdraw all cases against Imran Riaz Khan. “As the number of cases lodged against journalists increases in Pakistan, the IFJ urges the Pakistani authorities to withdraw the cases against Imran Riaz Khan and cease the use of government mechanisms to harass journalists and media workers,” the IFJ stated.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also demanded that the “Pakistan authorities must immediately release journalist Imran Riaz Khan.” Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, stated that the repeated arrests of the Express News anchorperson and the cases registered against him are “pure harassment, and must come to an immediate end.”

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