Women marchers of Aurat March 2019 being threatened, DRF submits complaints to FIA

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March 18, 2019
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Digital Rights Foundation — an NGO working for security and safety of people on social media, has recently submitted a collective report comprised of complaints against social media accounts inciting violence against women marchers/organizers of AuratMarch2019 to the cyber-crime unit of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

This was said in a tweet by Nighat Dad, who is not only the executive director of the NGO but also one of the organizers of this year’s Aurat March. As a reminder, Aurat March 2019 was organized all across Pakistan on International’s Women’s Day on 8 March 2019. Thousands of women in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Quetta, Peshawar, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Mardan took to the streets and marched against deeply entrenched social and economic inequalities.

After the successful conduction of Aurat March, many women marchers and organizers have been the recipients of death and rape threats on various social networking sites. Observing such insulting and disrespectful threats to the women all across the country, rights activists have come into play to report such criminal activities to the cyber crime wing of FIA. In this regard, Nighat Dad has talked with FIA and submitted a collective report against accounts inciting violence against women marchers. As she wrote in a tweet;

Women rights activists are guiding women marchers to share relevant information in the form of a complaint by adding screenshots & URLs with FIA and the Interior Ministry. FIA has a National Response Center for Cyber Crime (NR3C) and anyone can file a complaint here by providing supporting evidence. Meanwhile, you can also report to the Digital Rights Foundation via their email at helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk.

FIA will certainly take action on these cyberbullying complaints if they fall under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016, which can be read in full here. Whereas, Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 also applies in some cases and can be viewed here. It must also be noted that the penalties in these acts range from a minimum for Rs. 100,000 in a fine and a few months in jail to over ten million rupees in fines and up to twenty years in jail. The act also promises the anonymity of the complainant.

 
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