FIR filed against Facebook for publishing blasphemous content

By Qaiser Zulfiqar

A day after the authorities briefly banned access to microblogging website Twitter due to ‘blasphemous’ material, the city capital police on the orders of a city court on Monday registered a case against social networking giant Facebook.

Margalla police station registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Facebook and three other websites under sections 295-A and 298-A of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on the directions of Additional Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat Mufti. The application had been submitted by the Namoos-e-Risalat Lawyers Forum (NRLF).

One of the complainants, Advocate Rao Abdur Rahim, told The Express Tribune that they had been informed in July 2011 that Facebook and a few other websites had been posting ‘blasphemous’ posts on their websites and the material was being uploaded from inside Pakistan.

“Concerned government officials, Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) and police were requested to take action but they did not pay attention, therefore, Islamabad District Bar on July 27, 2011 filed a complaint for the registration of an FIR but no action was taken” said Rao.

The Namoos-e-Risalat Lawyers Forum then filed an application in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat Mufti seeking directions to the police to register an FIR.

“We gave three applications: one against Payam TV for telecasting a movie ‘Yousaf’, one against Facebook and three other websites and one against the US embassy in Islamabad for organising a gathering of gays and lesbians,” the petitioner said.

Accepting two applications, Judge Kamran Mufti directed Margalla police to register an FIR against Payam TV and Facebook, however the court turned down the application against the US embassy.

“We will approach the high court for registration of an FIR against the US embassy,” said Rao.

The Express Tribune

  • sharmeen

    Dear Pakistani Courts please go sentence some terrorists instead of wasting our time with non-issues like this.

  • Asim Nazir

    Do the honorable idiotic judges know that Facebook does not publish content on Facebook… its the people using Facebook who publish content on it. If the FIR had to be registered it should have been against the individual who published the content on Facebook. Facebook is just a platform where people can share / exchange information.

    We really need some educated and technology literate judges, lawyers and policy makers. These under educated dimwits cause more damage than do good.

    On a separate note, it is usually advisable to ignore topics disrespectful to beliefs, faith and religion instead of publicizing them. There will always be people who feel important by saying something controversial or provoking others. Instead of jumping up and down and tearing our own hair in anger and passing stupid senseless judgments it is better to ignore and concentrate on issues that actually need to be worked on.