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FIA told not to harass journalist

Updated May 24, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Islam­abad High Court on Tuesday restrained the Federal Investigation Agency from harassing a journalist and also issued a notice to the director general and an official of the FIA.

Justice Aamir Farooq sought a reply from FIA officials and adjourned the hearing of the matter till May 29.

According to a petition filed by journalist Taha Siddi­qui, FIA deputy director Noman Bodla on May 18 called him and asked him to appear in person at the FIA headquarters for interrogation.

When the petitioner asked the reason for summoning him, the FIA deputy director hinted that the interrogation is related to issues and opinion on which he had written journalistic pieces and as such it involved his professional work.

The petitioner alleged that the FIA official threatened him of consequences if he did not appear at the FIA headquarters.

The petitioner said that since the phone call, he noticed plain-clothes people pointing at his house and then he has taken due precautions of making certain that his movements are restricted or known to his family and friends.

The petitioner’s counsel, Asma Jahangir, said before the court that the FIA was treating a journalist like a terrorist.

She said that an officer of the Counter Terrorism Wing asked Mr Siddiqui to appear before him, but after the latter expressed reluctance, the officer started threatening him.

The counsel requested the court to stop the FIA from harassing the journalist.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2017