Facebook faces heat in Pakistan in objectionable content case

Reports coming in from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, now confirm that an FIR (First Information Report) has been filed against Facebook, at the Margalla police station, for having allegedly hosted blasphemous materials. Now, Facebook, along with 3 other websites have been booked under sections 295-A and 298-A of the Criminal Procedure Code, following orders from Additional Sessions Judge Kamran Basharat Mufti. The directions to file an FIR against Facebook and 3 other websites came in response to an application filed by Namoos-e-Risalat Lawyers Forum.



While elaborating further on the background of the case, one of the complainants, lawyer Rao Abdur Rahim, in his statement to the Express Tribune was quoted as saying that it all began in July of last year, when his organization was made aware of the fact that the social network, among few other websites was hosting “blasphemous materials” that was being uploaded from Pakistan. Further in his statement, he added that Concerned government officials, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and police were requested to take action, but their requests, he added, fell on deaf ears. Then on July 27th, 2011, Islamabad District Bar filed a complaint seeking the registration of an FIR. This attempt, too, however, bore no fruit. He added that it was at this juncture that the Namoos-e-Risalat Lawyers Forum filed an application in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Mufti, asking him to direct the police to file for an FIR. 


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Rahim was further quoted as saying, “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.” Judge Mufti, reportedly, accepted two of the three applications (ones against Payam TV and Facebook), and rejected that against the U.S Embassy.


Back home in a complaint filed, Facebook India was accused of being guilty of allegedly hosting objectionable content on their website, which could potentially harm the peace and harmony of the nation. Facebook India, on its part has been reiterating that users posting content on the website were the ones responsible for it. In one of our earlier reports, updating users on the ongoing lawsuit, it was mentioned that, “In their statement submitted to Administrative Civil Judge Parveen Singh, Facebook India it was re-iterated that, "It is not responsible for hosting the content that may appear on facebook.com as it does not control or operate the servers that host the website, which are located in the United States."  


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Published Date: May 24, 2012 05:04 pm | Updated Date: May 24, 2012 05:04 pm