ISLAMABAD: A day after journalist Asad Ali Toor was booked on charges of spreading ‘negative propaganda’ against the state and its institutions, he was granted one-week protective bail by Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah granted the bail and ordered the journalist, who had commented against the Pakistan Army in social media posts, to approach the relevant court within a week.
The complaint was registered by a Rawalpindi resident, Ehtisham Ahmed, and it states that “[Toor] spread negative propaganda and used derogatory language against the government institutions, including the Pakistan Army, which was a grave crime according to the law.”
Toor has been booked under sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 499 (defamation) and of the Pakistan Penal Code and sections 37 (unlawful online content), 11 (hate speech) and 20 (offences against the dignity of a person) of the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act 2016.
This is now the third case of a journalist being booked for “spreading hatred” within seven days.
Previously, Express Tribune staffer Bilal Farooqi and former chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Absar Alam, were booked in similar cases.