Pakistan: Journalist arrested posting critical posts on Facebook

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on June 29 charged Zafar Achakzai, a journalist working for Daily “Qudrat” in the city of Quetta, under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016. Local journalists believe Achakzai was arrested for comments he had posted on Facebook criticizing security agencies and the arrest of Majeed Khan Achakzai, a member of the provincial assembly, for killing a traffic police constable in a hit and run car accident.

Earlier, on June 25 paramilitary Frontier Corps raided Achakzai house, broke down the door and took him into custody.   According to family members they also took into custody his mobile phone and laptop computer.

The FIA produced Achakzai in the court of judicial Magistrate after his arrest and the court allowed remand of the journalist for six days.

The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) expressed concern over the way Achakzai was taken into custody, and added that anyone charged with violating the law should be promptly produced before a court of law.