A Pakistan anti-terrorism court has sentenced a journalist to five years in prison in a case pertaining to possessing literature against the state and spreading religious hatred, the media reported on Tuesday.
According to a charge sheet, Nasrullah Khan Chaudhry, a journalist associated with Urdu-language daily ‘Nai Baat’ was arrested in Karachi’s Garden area on November 11, 2018, on the allegations of carrying some journals and booklets about Afghan Jihad and the Punjabi Taliban which contained material intended to sow discord on sectarian grounds as well as to motivate people to participate in “jihad”, Dawn news reported.
Chaudhry was found guilty of committing offences punishable under Section 11-F (i) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 (a person is guilty of an offence if he belongs, or professes to belong, to a proscribed organisation), Section 11-W(i) (printing, publishing or disseminating any material to incite hatred or giving projection to any person convicted for a terrorist act or any proscribed organisation or an organisation placed under observation or anyone concerned in terrorism) and Section 7 (punishment for acts of terrorism), Dawn news reported.
The judge, who conducted a trial in the judicial complex inside the Karachi central prison, pronounced his verdict reserved after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides on December 21.
Chaudhry has denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and the Karachi Union of Journalists have expressed grave concern over Chaudhry’s conviction.