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PTI supporter sentenced to three years in prison for tweeting against army

  • FIR says Zaman posted a tweet against Pakistan Army relating to the helicopter incident last year with the intent to spread panic
Published February 16, 2023
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A district and sessions court in Faisalabad on Thursday sentenced a PTI supporter to three years in prison for running a smear campaign against the Pakistan Army's leadership on Twitter.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) apprehended Sikandar Zaman last year after a complaint against him was lodged under sections 20 (Malicious code) and 24(c) (Legal recognition of offences committed in relation to information system) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. It also invoked sections 500 (Punishment for defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Zaman’s Twitter account was also seized by the police during the investigation.

According to the first information report (FIR), Zaman posted a tweet against the Pakistan Army “relating to the helicopter incident” last year with the intent to “spread panic."

Last year, six army officers embraced martyrdom after their chopper crashed in Balochistan’s Lasbela district.

In the wake of the crash, a social media campaign emerged, which was condemned by the military's media wing as “insensitive”.


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Kashif ALI Feb 16, 2023 06:40pm
Such miscreants must be handled in the strictest way possible. They are the poisonous and rotten byproduct of politics of hatred. Nip the evil in the bud. Insaaf Lawyers must keep themselves away from such people. Otherwise, they must be declared complicit in this grave offence and barred from practising law.
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BK Feb 16, 2023 07:16pm
aaaa, what about freedom of speech guys? And why is the army and other institutions of Pakistan so scared of getting criticized? Do they really think that just one tweet can destroy them or create havoc in Pakistan? Are institutions, Army and our country really this weak? One tweet?!! This is gross violation of Sikandar's human rights! Army and other institutions are established to serve the people of Pakistan...they are the servants of people of Pakistan! The people need to realize this!
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TimeToMovveOn Feb 16, 2023 07:34pm
@BK, The answer is they want to keep the army isolated from everyone else so that the Army can get away with anything. Arresting a young guy for tweets is stupidity.
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Kashif ALI Feb 16, 2023 07:35pm
@BK, There is a fine line between Freedom of speech and Vilifying, abusing and spreading hatred. And the case in particular is about the Copter crash in which senior to junior army officials were martyred. Freedom of Speech does require some manners, etiquettes, tolerance, expression which are beyond emotions. And Pakistani people at large including political leadership (especially, IK) have not been conversant with such manners. If you don't like me, you don't have right to abuse me, hate me, vilify me with most of the lies. (I'm neither supporter of IK nor PDM. I belong to the silent majority of educated people who shun the illiterate politics of educated corporate executives like AU, ST and many others). Pakistan needs such a government which does not have any political interest in this country.
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BK Feb 16, 2023 11:05pm
@Kashif ALI, And who is to decide what that fine line is? And that fine line may depend on context, cultural sensitivities, political realities (the untouchable Pak army). I agree that freedom speech comes with responsibility but in our case I am not sure I can trust the people who define the 'fine line". If you are part of the educated group of Pakistanis, then my friend, you have a bigger responsibility to not remain silent. Because silence means complacency. Pls do shun the policies and politics you disagree with but with your voice, its your right and its the right that vulnerable/poor/illiterate have over you as their educated compatriot
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KhanRA Feb 16, 2023 11:51pm
Is the army so weak that it cannot tolerate tweets against it? If you say army shouldn’t be in politics and that they have interfered in Pakistanis democracy - then that is a fact. But to say so on Twitter can get you arrested.
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KhanRA Feb 16, 2023 11:54pm
@Kashif ALI, Freedom of speech does not require “manners and etiquette.” Those are social standards that vary from person to person and cannot be the basis of restricting speech. I should have the right to insult and offend you. The only limit is that I should not encourage other your rights to be violated, to knowingly spread lies about you, or to encourage violence against you. Those are the only limits to free speech. Otherwise if you don’t like what I say, then that is your problem, not the State’s.
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Faisal Muhammad Baloch Feb 17, 2023 07:50pm
Why only Army Leadership are others out of this league? Let's this be common for all leaderships.
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