Journalist Imran Riaz Khan arrested from Islamabad Toll Plaza | The Express Tribune


Senior journalist and Express News anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan, who has been booked for a range of offences including criticising state institutions and abetting mutiny, was arrested from Islamabad Toll Plaza late on Tuesday.

In a video of his arrest, which went viral on social media, over a dozen policemen of Punjab Police can be seen surrounding his car.

Reportedly, he was arrested in a case lodged at the Attock police station and was taken to the same district.

Also read: ExpressNews anchor booked for sedition on gutka seller’s complaint

In the video Riaz can be heard saying that he was coming to the federal capital to get bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC). “I don’t think this [arrest] makes any difference.. I am requesting all journalists to raise your voice and continue performing your duties,” he said, adding that the arrest was a clear contempt of court.

“This is Islamabad’s jurisdiction where I am being arrested because Toll Plaza starts from here. Justice Athar Minallah [Chief Justice Islamabad High Court] has also granted me bail so in this situation this arrest is wrong. I have to appear in his court to get bail in the morning,” the journalist could be heard as saying in the video.

“It makes no difference whether they imprison me or kill me or whatever they do… I think we should continue performing our duties… I am requesting all journalists to raise your voice and keep doing your jobs.

“I am going to give arrest with courage… will see what happens next… my car and weapons have been snatched [by authorities] and 20 FIRs were registered against me.”

Punjab Law Minister Malik Ahmad confirmed the development but said that Imran Riaz was arrested in the limits of Rawalpindi division as cases against him were registered in Punjab.

“The impression that the arrest was made in Islamabad is wrong,” he added.

Police sources told The Express Tribune that instructions to arrest the journalist were received from Lahore and his belongings including mobile phone and wallet were also later seized by the police officials.

They said attempts were made to cover up his arrest but the Attock police later confirmed the development after the footage of his arrest went vial on social media.

Police team headed by the RPO Rawalpindi said that Riaz was later shifted to Airport Police Station in the federal capital.

Also read: Journalist Ayaz Amir attacked in Lahore

The police officials said the journalist was arrested in a case registered at City Attock police station on the complaint of a citizen named Malik Mureed Abbas under the Electronic Crimes Act and six other sections.

In the FIR, the citizen stated that he saw a video on social media in which Riaz tried to tarnish the image of a state institution.

The journalist had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court to avoid arrest, on which the court directed the authorities concerned not to arrest him and directed the journalist to co-operate with the law enforcement agencies.

“There were 17 cases registered against Imran Riaz Khan across Punjab. When we filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court, the court had directed the authorities concerned across the country not to arrest him,” his lawyer Mian Ali Ashfaq said.

He added that they had also filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on which the judge had directed the Punjab police chief to provide a copy of the cases and not to arrest him. The lawyer said that he will file a petition in the Islamabad High Court against the arrest and hoped that the honourable judges would take strict action against the violators of the court orders and ensure his release.

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