PML-N youth wing leader arrested over 'hateful content' against state institutions: FIA

Updated June 18, 2019

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PML-N leader and president of the Hamza Youth Wing Punjab Waleed Butt. — Photo courtesy Waleed Butt Facebook
PML-N leader and president of the Hamza Youth Wing Punjab Waleed Butt. — Photo courtesy Waleed Butt Facebook

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a PML-N leader and president of the Hamza Youth Wing Punjab, Waleed Butt, after registering a case against him, Cyber Crime wing in-charge Asif Iqbal said on Tuesday.

Iqbal said that Butt, who was previously the president of the PML-N Youth Wing Gujranwala, was uploading "hateful content" against state institutions on social media.

He said that Butt had used inappropriate language against the judiciary, army officers and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered on Monday at the Gujranwala sub-circle of the FIA Cyber Crime Circle on the complaint of a citizen named Ameer Hamza.

The case was registered under Sections 11 and 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (Peca) — a cyber-crime law which had been widely criticised by civil rights campaigners as 'draconian' at the time of its passage by the Nawaz Sharif-led PML-N government — as well as under Sections 500 (punishment for defamation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), and 109 (punishment of abetment if the Act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment).

According to the FIR, Butt had used "highly inappropriate" and "defamatory" language against the premier, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and the judiciary.

The complainant said that these individuals were very respectable and his sentiments had been hurt by this, adding that it was an attempt to bring disrepute to state institutions.

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, via Twitter, said the party [PTI], which had constantly attacked the elected government for five years and whose supporters had created a "storm of misbehaviour" on social media, could not tolerate criticism today.

She said that a lawyer has been appointed, adding that the PML-N should stand with party workers.

In another tweet, she said that the top leadership as well as party workers [of PML-N] were being arrested. "Convert the assembly into a container," she said, referring to the PTI's 2014 protest. "He [Imran Khan] is not just an incompetent prime minister but also a fascist prime minister."

She also questioned if the FIA would take action against the social media campaign regarding "an honourable Supreme Court judge", claiming that the campaign was launched at the behest of the government.