Pakistan courts bar police from arresting several TV anchors
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A court in Pakistan’s capital on Monday ordered police not to arrest several journalists without its permission, days after complaints were lodged accusing the TV anchors of inciting hatred against the military.
The order by Athar Minallah, chief justice at the Islamabad High Court, followed petitions from journalists Arshad Sharif, Sami Abrahim and Moeed Pirzada, who are known as critics of the military and were fearing arrest.
A court in the city of Lahore ordered that a fourth journalist, Imran Riaz, not be arrested. Under Pakistan’s legal system, people can seek a court order protecting them from arrest by police.
A fifth journalist, Sabir Shakir, is currently not in Pakistan but is also protected by Minallah’s order.
There was no immediate comment from the government.
The five journalists had feared arrest after residents in various parts of Pakistan filed similar complaints against them last week, urging police to arrest them on charges of treason.
The journalists being sought by police are known as fervent supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan who was ousted in a no-confidence vote initiated by the opposition in April.