Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Sunday initiated an inquiry against journalist Sami Ibrahim for allegedly “spreading fake news regarding state institutions”.
The FIA, in a press statement, said that Ibrahim – who works with BOL News – “has made imputations which are glaring attempts to incite armed forces personnel to mutiny”. “He has attempted to create chaos in Pakistan through media while staying abroad,” it further stated. The agency also said that since the journalist is abroad a red notice would be issued against him through Interpol and his name would be listed on Exit Control List (ECL).
— Federal Investigation Agency – FIA (@FIA_Agency) May 8, 2022
The FIA notice sent to Ibrahim alleged that he has tried to build a “narrative with ill intent to cause intimidation, fear, panic, insecurity, and unrest between government officials/personnel of armed forces and general public”.
Sources told News18 that the inquiry against Ibrahim may be the beginning of the case Pakistan is building against former PM Imran Khan. Ibrahim has interviewed several high-profile public figures, including Khan who was ousted in April following a no-confidence vote passed against his government in the National Assembly.
The FIA also stated that Ibrahim would be given an opportunity to defend himself in the case. An FIR would be filed if an offence is made out against the journalist, following which he would be arrested and prosecuted.
The inquiry was launched under Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016, read with Section 505 of the PPC.
Meanwhile, reacting to the FIA notice, Ibrahim tweeted that necessary legal action will be taken after he returns on May 14.
حکومت نے بزریہ ایف ای اے میرے خلاف ایک مقدمہ قائم کیا ھے۔حکومتی نوٹس کی کاپی بھی میں نے لگا دی ھے۔۔ یہ معاملہ میں نے اپنے وکیل راجہ عامر عباس سے ڈسکس کیا ھے جو FIA کو بتا دھے ھیں کہ میں ابھی ملک س باھر ھوں۔۔14 مئ کو میری واپسی کے بعد ضروری قانونی چارہ جوی کی جای گی۔۔۔۔۔y pic.twitter.com/Wz0uz6PbmG
— Sami Abraham (@samiabrahim) May 7, 2022
“The government has filed a case against me. I have also attached a copy of the government notice. I have discussed this matter with my lawyer Raja Amir Abbas who has told FIA that I am out of the country now. Necessary legal action will be taken after my return on 14th May,” he wrote.