The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has prohibited all television channels from airing news or reports on the F-9 Park rape case in order to protect the victim’s identity, it emerged on Tuesday.
On Feb 2, a first information report (FIR) was registered at Islamabad’s Margalla police station under Section 376 (punishment for rape). According to the complainant, she had gone to the park along with a male colleague when two men stopped them at gunpoint and took them towards a jungle.
She said the men beat her up, raped her and told her to “not come to the park at this time”.
In a notification issued on Feb 5, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, Pemra noted that few satellite television channels were running reports with regard to the case wherein the identity of the survivor was revealed.
“This is a violation of clause 8 of Pemra Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisments) Code of Conduct 2015.
“While exercising powers conferred under Section 27 (a) of the PEMRA Ordinance, 2002, as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, broadcast/rebroadcast of news/reports with regard to F-9 Park Islamabad incident is PROHIBITED, with immediate effect,” the notification said.
In the case of non-compliance, it warned, the licence of the television channel may be suspended without any show cause notice in the public interest along with other enabling provisions of law.
The F-9 rape case has sparked an outrage across the country. A day earlier, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani directed the police chief to take action against the culprits and submit a report in the house within 24 hours.
So far, the police have been unable to arrest the perpetrators. The investigators have, however, issued a sketch of one of the suspects and circulated it to get help in the identification of the culprits.
Police also said that they were working on geo-fencing to trace the culprits. A forensic team also visited the crime scene four days after the incident to collect evidence, they added.
In the FIR filed, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the victim stated she had gone to the F-9 Park at about 8pm on Thursday along with her male colleague, Amjad, when “two men stopped [us] at gunpoint and took them towards a jungle”.
The victim then offered the men to take any belongings if they wanted but they “beat her” so that she should not make a sound and separated her from her colleague, the FIR stated.
She added when one of the men asked what her relationship with the colleague was, she answered in a “loud voice”, upon which he slapped her and threatened that he would “bring six to seven more people and you have no inkling of what they would do with you”.
The man said he would frisk her, to which she replied “go ahead, I don’t have a single penny”.
The suspect then ordered the victim to “be quiet, shook my hair aggressively, shoved me to the ground and committed a vile act”, the statement said.
It added that the armed man struck her leg with the gun when she tried to grab it and “threw my clothes at a distance so I could not run away”.
The victim said the other man, who was called by the first suspect and was “not of much age”, committed the same “wrong act” even though she had pleaded him not to and had offered money.
Afterwards, he asked the victim about what she does for a living and told her to “not come to the park at this time”, the FIR said.
It was further stated that the suspects “returned everything and even gave them a Rs1,000 note to not tell anyone anything”. “They then asked us to sit down and themselves ran away towards the jungle.”
The FIR highlighted that the victim was taken to the Pakistan Institute Of Medical Sciences hospital where her medical check-up was conducted.