A Gujranwala A counter-terrorism court has sentenced a man from Sialkot to one year in prison for “inciting sectarian hatred” and “spreading rumours” in the aftermath of the lynching of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara.
On December 3, the Sri Lankan national was attacked by a mob of nearly 800 to 900 people. They tortured, beat, murdered, then burned his body on the road to Wazirabad. The violence sent shockwaves across the country and drew international condemnation.
A day after the attack, Muhammad Adnan, 28, uploaded a video to his YouTube channel in which he spoke about the murder and gave his thoughts on the violence.
He was convicted under the following sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and the Punjab Public Order Ordinance 1960:
- ATA Section 9 – Harsh imprisonment for up to seven years for a person who distributes, shows or broadcasts a recording of threatening, abusive or insulting sights or sounds.
- ATA Section 11 – Power to Order Forfeiture.
- Public order ordinance Article 16 – Dissemination of rumours.
At a hearing on Friday, the court sent Adnan to jail and also fined him 10,000 rupees. According to the police, the suspect had confessed.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, seven main suspects in the case were identified. Police said they admitted to the crime and were sent to jail.
Social media rules in Pakistan
The government recently changed its social media rules to remove and block illegal online content.
- There will be a ban on live streaming of hateful, vulgar and violent content
- Social media companies will be required to remove content that goes against the sanctity and security of Pakistan
- Promoting vulgar and immoral content will be a prosecutable offense,
- Social media platforms and service providers formulate community guidelines and educate users about them.
- Negative content against anyone, content about anyone’s personal life will not be allowed.
- Any content that goes against the cultural and moral values of a Pakistani society will also be prohibited.
- Social media companies will have to abide by Pakistani laws and protect users’ rights.
- Any content that could have a negative impact on the mental and physical development and moral values of children will be prohibited.
- The amended rules will apply to all social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Google Plus.
- Social media platforms will open permanent offices in Pakistan
- All social media companies will register with the PTA and set up data servers within three months.
- The companies will set up an online grievance mechanism and publish community guidelines.
- Issues reported to companies will be resolved within seven days without revealing the identity of the complainant online.
- Violation will result in a fine of up to 500 million rupees.