The Erased font


Khalid Jamil
  • CountryPakistan

It was the 21st of September in 2023, around 10:30 pm, when more than a dozen armed persons tried to break the main entrance door of my house. I was at home with my family. First I called a fellow journalist to inform him about the concerning situation. When I opened the door, there were several police officers standing there. Most of them in civilian clothes and one in uniform. This uniformed officer was from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and told me that he had an arrest warrant. Before I knew it, my hands were tied, my phone was taken and I was transferred into a van. Meanwhile, my house was searched and they took my laptop, among other things. I received no warning or indication that I would be arrested.

The reason for my arrest were the messages I posted on X (before twitter). The messages were about human rights violations in Pakistan committed by law enforcement agencies. One message was about ‘’Justice delayed Justice denied". 

Shortly after my arrest, my colleagues from the office and some friends who live close by came to my house to support my family. All legal matters were handled by my office. They approached the FIA officials and also arranged a legal team. That team appeared in court and argued my case. After a long and exhaustive legal process, I was released on bail on 28 September 2023. The first hearing took place on 5 December. At the hearing, after the FIA filed a preliminary subpoena, the Special Cyber Crimes Court acquitted me of all charges and the case was dismissed on the same day. I was acquitted because I knew how to use the right words on topics that were sensitive within the government and intelligence community. As a journalist, it is important to know these sensitivities inside out. In this way, we can continue to do our work within the constraints we have.

"Although intelligence and government officials pressured the TV station I work at to terminate my contract, they have always supported me. I am still working here, at the same position and at the same Islamabad station. After my release from prison, I was off the air for only two weeks. I didn't want to quit because that would mean that the FIA had definitively succeeded in censoring me. I want to tell the stories that some would rather not be told. It is these stories that bring the truth to the surface." 

—Khalid Jamil

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