Friday Dec 22 2017

FIA says no evidence against five bloggers in blasphemous content case

Hearing of the blasphemous content case was held on 22 December 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday that no evidence was found against the five bloggers accused in cases pertaining to publishing of blasphemous content online.

During hearing of the blasphemous content case earlier today, FIA officials admitted before the court that no evidence was found against the five bloggers who were booked in cases relating to publishing and sharing of blasphemous content on the internet.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who heard the case, remarked that no action should be taken against the accused if no evidence could be found against them.

Justice Siddiqui remarked if a person falsely accuses someone of blasphemy, he or she is guilty on double accounts.

The court will decide whether the evidence against the accused is insufficient or if they were falsely accused of blasphemy, Justice Shaukat Aziz added.

FIA officials complained to the court that there are only 15 investigation officers whereas the agency has received 12,000 complaints of cybercrime.

Yet, despite these limitations, the agency is carrying out its work, the FIA officials informed the court. 

On March 31, the IHC bench had directed the FIA to investigate the role of the five bloggers in posting blasphemous content on the social media.

During a hearing earlier this year, the court had observed that levelling blasphemy charges against innocents was also a crime.

Justice Siddiqui had directed the Director of FIA and IG Islamabad to exercise extreme precaution while identifying blasphemers.

"Falsely accusing someone of blasphemy is an offence as serious as blasphemy itself," he had remarked.