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Pakistani journalist Imran Riaz Khan (File Photo)
Pakistani journalist Imran Riaz Khan (File Photo)

Pakistan: Senior Journalist Imran Riaz Khan sent to CIA custody

ANI | Updated: Jul 09, 2022 18:21 IST


Lahore [Pakistan], July 9 (ANI): Senior journalist Imran Riaz Khan, who was arrested on Tuesday night, has been handed to the Lahore's Crime Investigation agency in a case lodged against him at the civil lines police station.
An official said that the police handed over the journalist to the CIA Kotwali police for interrogation. He is likely to be presented before the duty magistrate on Saturday, Dawn reported.
The case was filed by a local resident of Lahore, Muhammad Asif, on charges of abetment of mutiny and criticism of state institutions.
On Tuesday night, journalist Imran Riaz Khan was heading towards Islamabad to acquire a pre-arrest bail from the High Court, when he was arrested by the Attock police, Dawn reported.
Later, in the wee hours of Thursday, the anchorperson was granted relief by the local court but was immediately arrested by a team of Chakwal police outside the courtroom.
Before shifting him to Lahore, a local court of Chakwal district had allowed his judicial remand.
In the latest First Information Report (FIR) against Khan, the complainant alleged that Imran Riaz accused the army of violating human rights and damaging the state by indulging in politics, according to Dawn.
Asif further said Khan had accused the army and said that they had put Pakistan's integrity at stake, adding that the journalist committed an offence by inciting officers and other personnel of the army.
The complainant mentioned that recently Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had been awarded army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa with the King Abdulaziz Medal for making "significant contributions to defence cooperation" between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Asif alleged in the FIR that the journalist also mocked the Saudi government's decision in his video.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged the PML-N-led government to immediately release senior journalist Imran Riaz Khan and ensure that the members of the press can work freely and without fear of reprisal, The Express Tribune reported.
"The repeated arrests of Pakistani journalist Imran Riaz Khan and the slew of cases registered against him are pure harassment, and must come to an immediate end," Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ's programme director said as quoted by The Express Tribune.
"Authorities must immediately release Khan and ensure that journalists can safely and freely comment on state institutions, including the military," he added.
Khan's case is among several cases that have been lodged against journalists in Pakistan for allegedly spreading hate against the army and state institutions. This latest arrest comes in the backdrop of a growing crackdown on journalists in Pakistan.
Last week, senior journalist and former parliamentarian Ayaz Amir was assaulted by unknown persons.
Pakistan is one of the world's deadliest countries for journalists, with three to four murders each year that are often linked to cases of corruption or illegal trafficking and which go completely unpunished, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Any journalist who crosses the red lines dictated by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) - an intelligence agency offshoot - is liable to be the target of in-depth surveillance that could lead to abduction and detention for varying lengths of time in the state's prisons or less official jails.
Furthermore, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's leading military intelligence agency, is prepared to silence any criticism once and for all. (ANI)

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