LAHORE: A local magistrate on Sunday granted bail to senior journalist Rizwanur Rehamn Razi.

The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime cell in Lahore on Saturday picked up Mr Razi of Din News from his residence in Johar Town, confiscated his mobile phone and booked him under Sections 11 and 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, and Sections 123-A and 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the state.

According to the FIR, an inquiry has been initiated against Mr Razi for allegedly uploading defamatory and obnoxious posts through a social media account on Twitter against judiciary, government institutions and intelligence agencies.

“During the course of inquiry, the initial analysis of the questioned images and upon tracing of the alleged defamatory posts, it was revealed that the said social media posts were made through an account of Twitter namely @RaziDada having web link i.e. httpps:// RaziDada.

“It has been further analysed that the said Twitter account is associated with Rizwanur Rehamn Razi of Din News as reflected on the said account,” it added.

The FIA’s cyber crime wing presented Mr Razi before Judicial Magistrate Asjad Sajjad to seek physical remand of the suspect.

The counsel for the suspect pleaded before the court that the arrest of his client was against freedom of expression and that he did not commit any crime. He said that no one had lodged any complaint against his client and he was arrested without any complaint against him.

He said his client also worked as a teacher and regretted that he was presented in the court in chains.

The magistrate rejected the FIA’s plea for Mr Razi’s physical remand and granted him bail against surety bonds worth Rs100,000.

The magistrate said that the suspect should avoid discussing court in his programmes and it was test for him and they would monitor it.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2019