Image Source: Research Outreach

The federal government has passed a bill after amending lieu of the online hate speech crime. According to the bill, seven-year imprisonment will be imposed for those spreading hateful content on social media.

Online Hate Bill & Jail 

The amendment will allow FIA to take notice and immediate action if any activity of online hate is observed against those criticising state institutions, including the Pakistan Army, judiciary and others on electronic media.

The proposal has also recommended the inclusion of Section 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code in the FIA Act. Once the amendment is approved, FIA will also have the authority to take action on any kind of fake news and rumours on social media.

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Back in February of this year, President Arif Alvi approved an ordinance of a similar nature proposing amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016. The ordinance was signed by the president when the Imran Khan-led government’s cabinet had approved it.

Image source: expresstribune

The law, back then, proposed a five-year sentence for criticizing state institutions, including the Pakistan Army, judiciary, and others on electronic media.

Later in April, however, the Islamabad High Court declared the ordinance ‘unconstitutional’ and directed the federal government to probe abuse of the law and submit a report. The decision led to countrywide protests followed by media bodies challenging the ‘draconian law’ in the IHC.

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The petition fillers include Journalist associations, including the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) and some senior journalists of the country, who filed the petition through senior lawyer Munir A Malik.

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