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Pakistani journalist sentence to 5-year jail

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KABUL: The International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in a joint statement on Wednesday have condemned the sentence of a Pakistani Journalist Nasrullah Chaudhry by the Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan for allegedly possessing banned literature and spreading religious hatred.

“Chaudhry, a journalist for local Urdu-language daily Nai Baat, was arrested in Karachi on November 11, 2018, for allegedly carrying journals that could incite ‘Jihad’ (revolt),” the statement said.

According to PFUJ, based on 1997 Anti-Terrorism Act of Pakistan, Chaudhry has been given five years in prison and Rs 10,000 fines in December 2019.

“A concerning number of human rights activists and journalists have been imprisoned under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act,” the statement added.

The PFJU has voiced depth concerns over the case, saying that Chaudhry’s punishment is another instance of Pakistani government to silence the independent media in the country. 

Last year, the US has put Pakistan in a special watch list for “sever violation for religious freedom”, saying that protection of religious freedom is the top priority of Washington’s foreign policy.

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