According to a report by ProPakistani, few bloggers have gone missing after appearing before FIA Cyber Crime Wing Islamabad yesterday morning. Sources close to those bloggers claim that they are being detained by FIA.
Charges on the bloggers
The alleged missing bloggers were asked to present themselves for investigation in front of FIA Cyber Crime Wing Islamabad on 31st December 2016. They were accused of posting images of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with a PML(N) leader while wrongly attributing him as Justice Saqib Nisar.
Controversy of the image
These images started circulating the social media after the Justice Saqib Nisar was appointed as the next Chief Justice of Supreme Court. The images wrongly depicted a PML(N) leader as the said Justice and accused him of colluding with the Prime Minister. After these images had gone viral, Interior Minister of Pakistan, Ch. Nisar, ordered FIA to investigate the culprits behind spreading this false news.
Case against these bloggers
Although nothing has been stated officially, it is speculated that these bloggers are to be tried under the charges of “Cyber Terrorism”. The section 7 of Cyber Crime Law, effective from August 2016, terms Cyber Terrorism as:
“…[T]he use of threat is designed to coerce, intimidate, overawe or create a sense of fear, panic or insecurity in the government or the public or a section of the public or community or sector in society”
If found guilty, the bloggers will likely face up to 14 years in prison and/or up to Rs. 50 million in fine.
It must be noted here that nothing has been said officially about the matter as of yet. However, notices to present themselves in front of the FIA Cyber Crime Wing were sent to many bloggers, including the alleged missing ones. We will update this article with more information when more details about the matter emerge.