Pakistani security agents have arrested a senior Islamabad-based TV anchor known for his criticism of authorities on charges of spreading false content about state institutions on social media, the news channel and his family said on Friday.
Khalid Jamil was taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation late Thursday, ABN TV posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
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Jamil’s family confirmed the arrest, saying he was taken in a late-night raid on his home in the capital Islamabad. A photo of Jamil circulating on social media shows him holding a sign with his case number, apparently in police custody.
Later on Friday, an Islamabad court gave the go-ahead for the agency to detain Jamil for questioning for two days.
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The arrest has drawn condemnation from the country’s journalistic community. Pakistan has long been an unsafe country for journalists. In 2020, it ranked ninth in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual Global Impunity Index, which rates countries where journalists are regularly harassed and killed and perpetrators usually go free.
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In recent years, activists and journalists have come under increasing attack from the government and security establishment, reducing the space for criticism and dissent. Criticism of the military can lead to threats, intimidation, sedition charges and, in some cases, arrest without warning.