Home Uncategorized Investigation Leads to Arrest of Pakistani Journalist Shahid Aslam for Leaks

Investigation Leads to Arrest of Pakistani Journalist Shahid Aslam for Leaks

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Investigation Leads to Arrest of Pakistani Journalist Shahid Aslam for Leaks

As of January 13, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials in Lahore apprehended Shahid Aslam, a special correspondent affiliated with the privately owned broadcaster BOL News, as reported by various news outlets and confirmed by the Pakistan Press Foundation, a local advocate for press freedom.

Allegations against Aslam stemmed from his purported involvement in a November 19, 2022, article published by the independent news website Fact Focus. The article, which utilized leaked tax information to delve into the assets of former Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family, drew attention from authorities. However, Fact Focus correspondent Ahmad Noorani informed the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) through a messaging application that Aslam had no part in producing the said article.

Subsequently, on Monday, an Islamabad court mandated Aslam’s transfer to jail pending trial, as relayed by Pakistani journalist Umar Cheema, who is well-versed in the matter and communicated with CPJ through a messaging app. CPJ’s attempts to ascertain the exact charges filed against Aslam were inconclusive.

Beh Lih Yi, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, condemned Aslam’s arrest, emphasizing the precarious environment journalists face in Pakistan. Yi urged authorities to promptly and unconditionally release Aslam, underscoring his entitlement to privacy and protection of sources as guaranteed by the country’s journalist safety legislation.

Throughout his detention, FIA officials reportedly exerted pressure on Aslam to divulge his laptop’s password, which he steadfastly declined, according to both news reports and the Pakistan Press Foundation’s declaration.

Pakistan’s Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill of 2021 incorporates safeguards to uphold journalists’ privacy rights and the sanctity of their sources’ confidentiality.

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