PESHAWAR: A local court sent a detained Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf worker to the jail on a 14 days judicial remand here on Monday on the charge of sharing a ‘deepfake’ video of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz vice-president Maryam Nawaz on social media.

The Cyber Crime Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency had taken the suspect, Fayyazuddin, a resident of Tehkal area in Peshawar city, into custody on Sunday.

He had shared the video clip from his Twitter account.

The FIA officials produced him before judicial magistrate Sher Hassan and insisted that the detainee was held for uploading a deepfake video of the PML-N’s woman leader on social media.

Court turns down FIA’s physical remand plea

The agency sought two days physical custody of the suspect. However, the court turned the request down and ordered the sending of the accused to the jail on a 14 days judicial remand.

A FIA official told Dawn that the suspect was held over the sharing of a deepfake video of the PML-N leader performing a belly dance.

He said that the suspect also used his Twitter account for spreading propaganda against the Pakistan Army.

The FIR registered against the suspect read that the inquiry conducted by the FIA ‘established the accused with mala-fide intentions and ulterior motives, started highly obnoxious intimidating campaign through his Twitter account against Maryam Nawaz’.

“The alleged Twitter account was used to intimidate and spoil the modesty of the victim lady by transmission of sexually explicit, objectionable and fabricated video,” it said.

The FIR added that it was established during the course of inquiry that Fayyazuddin was operating that Twitter account.

The FIA booked the accused under sections 21 and 24 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016, and Section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Also in the day, the PTI workers staged a protest outside the Peshawar Press Club against the arrest of the suspect.

Former Peshawar district nazim Mohammad Asim Khan and PTI Peshawar city coordinator Irfan Saleem led the protesters, who shouted slogans against the PML-N-led federal government and demanded immediate release of the detainee.

Mr Asim said that Mr Fayyazuddin was an active social media activist of the PTI.

Mr Saleem criticised the arrest and said that the ‘imported’ federal government even lacked the ‘guts to digest criticism’.

He also said that the arrest of the PTI worker was an attack on the freedom of speech, which was guaranteed by the Constitution.

The PTI leader said that all party activists were ready to go to the jail and stage street protests to further ‘their cause’.

“In what capacity, the state is defending Maryam Nawaz, who is a private individual,” he said.

Published in Dawn,May 10th, 2022

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