LAHORE: National and international press bodies have condemned the cyber harassment of anchorperson Gharidah Farooqi, who has said that she has been facing threats after she shared an article following the Christchurch attack.
“First, general bullying began online, which I ignored. But (then it) turned serious,” she told Dawn.
“I faced immense sexual harassment, curses, crude allegations and character assassination, but probably the worst was that I was threatened with violence and murder.”
The Digital Rights Foundation’s (DRF) Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights has also released a statement condemning this harassment.
Nighat Dad, who leads the DRF, said that “definitely Farooqi was facing harassment mainly because she was a journalist, but the kind of engendered harassment she was facing was because she was a woman”.
“It is highly condemnable that women journalists are frequently subjected to online violence and rape threats, which affect their ability to conduct unbiased journalism, and are tools for their self-censorship, and to silence them,” read the statement. South Asian Free Media Association head Imtiaz Alam also condemned the harassment. “Solidarity with Gharida Farooqi, vicious campaign… is most condemnable and we as a media community and civil society take serious exception to it...,” he tweeted.
“With a complaint now filed with the FIA… quick action must be taken. This trolling must be checked by cyber crime units of our agencies,” tweeted journalist Nasim Zehra.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, Freedom Network and Amnesty International have all expressed solidarity with Ms Farooqi. “I feel unsafe and request the PM for security,” said Farooqi.
Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2019