ISLAMABAD -  Journalists on Wednesday protested and chanted slogans against Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman for threatening a reporter of a private TV channel for allegedly filming her with his cellphone on the Supreme Court’s premises.

The media persons protested outside the Supreme Court premises and did not allow PML-N ministers Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Marriyum Aurangzeb to hold press briefing despite their assurance to resolve the matter. They demanded that Anusha Rehman should come and publicly apologize for her misconduct. The ministers, therefore, went without giving briefing on the Panama Leaks hearing. The journalists also chanted slogans against the ministers.

Azam Gill, reporter of Channel 7, allegedly made a film of Anusha Rehman when she was talking to Minister for Railways Saad Rafiq with her own cellphone outside the Courtroom No II where the proceeding of Panama Leaks case was underway.

It is to be mentioned here that mobiles phones are not allowed in the Supreme Court premises. The phones are taken from litigants and other persons at the main reception. However, the SC management has only allowed phones to ministers and the journalists as they have to give beeper and ticker regarding the court proceedings. However, some journalists are using this facility for making footage for their channels.

According to Gill, he took out his mobile from his pocket but the minister thought that he was making her video. “The minister snatched the mobile phone and threatened of sending me to jail for 14 years under the Cyber Crimes Act,” he said. The reporter said that he told the minister that he is a journalist but she did not listen and deleted clips from the cellphone,” he said.

He lodged an application against the IT minister with Police Station Secretariat, Islamabad, complaining the minister snatched cellphone from him and also deleted video and data from it.

However, Minister for IT Anusha Rehman said that the reporter was ‘filming’ her on his cellphone when she was talking on mobile phone with Saad Rafiq in front of Courtroom No. II. “I have not snatched cellphone from anyone but has just deleted the video clip,” she clarified.

Making a video of anyone in such a manner is not permissible under the Cyber Crimes Act 2016. Such use of mobile phone is wrong. Filming of anyone in this way is indecent and unethical, she added.

Later on, State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb said that she would invite journalists and the minister in her office to resolve the matter amicably. She said that journalists must show a sense of responsibility.

President Press Association of Supreme Court Terence J Sigamony and President Pakistan National Electronic Media Journalist Association Babar Malik also strongly condemned snatching of cellphone from journalist and threatening him of dire consequences.

The reporter and the minister after a meeting at the office of State Minister for Information later in the evening patched up.

 

TERENCE J SIGAMONY