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Pakistan cybercrime unit detains govt critic

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime wing detained, journalist, Mohsin Baig, following a raid at his home in the capital on Wednesday. The (FIA) cybercrime wing raided the journalist’s house along with the police and took him into custody.

The journalist has been critical of the government’s policies and used to appear on TV talk shows as an analyst.

Talking to the media, Baig’s son said: “Federal Investigation Agency’s officials, dressed in plainclothes came to their house earlier today and detained his father.”  “Initially, we thought that they (FIA personnel) are thieves and opened aerial fire, but later they introduced themselves as law enforcers. We also asked them to show arrest warrants, but they didn’t. Meanwhile, a police party also came to our house.”

The FIA reportedly “faced resistance” during the raid and “dragged” the journalist to a van.

Following the arrest, Baig’s lawyer Raheel Niazi filed a petition against the “illegal detention” of the journalist. The petition was heard by additional sessions judge Justice Zafar Iqbal.

The court-appointed a bailiff, ordering the authorities to produce Baig in court. Baig’s lawyer informed the judge that people in plainclothes came to his house earlier today and took the journalist with them.

The journalist and his family members sought arrest warrants and search warrants from the SP and DS; however, they defied all requests.

The lawyer further added that the officials in plainclothes smashed mobile phones, and hit the children at the house, taking Baig with them.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad police spokesperson said that FIA faced resistance, and Baig opened fire due to which an FIA official was injured.

“Baig has been transferred to the police station and further legal action is being taken,” the spokesperson said.

Condemning the arrest, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Baig’s arrest has shown “Imran Khan’s weakness.”

“PM Imran Khan is afraid of self-criticism in case people became aware of his truth,” Bilawal said, adding that during PTI’s tenure, terrorists are fleeing while journalists are being arrested.

He further added that Baig was dragged in front of his family and arrested as if he was a terrorist.

“PTI government should release journalist Mohsin Baig immediately,” Bilawal demanded.

This is the second arrest made by law enforcement agencies during the last week over anti-government commentary.

On Monday, the (FIA) had arrested a social media activist, for running trends against the prime minister on social media.

A case had been registered against the accused named: Sabir Hashmi after the FIA cybercrime wing conducted an operation in Lahore’s Model Town area. According to the (FIA), Sabir was accused of running an “indecent” trend against PM Imran Khan. The agency has seized Hashmi’s mobile phone and other belongings.

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