The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) cyber crime wing in Pakistan has booked singer Meesha Shafi and eight others for their alleged involvement in a smear campaign against actor and singer Ali Zafar, on September 28.
The First Information Report (FIR) against the suspects was filed for a non-cognisable offence on the order of the FIA special court, local media outlets reported.
Shafi, actor and television host Iffat Omar, Leena Ghani, Fariha Ayub, Maham Javaid, Ali Gul, Haseemuz Zaman Khan, Humna Raza and Syed Faizan Raza have been booked under section 20 (1) of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and R/W 109-PPC.
“Prior permission from the special court is required by the investigation officer to arrest the suspects as it is a non-cognisable offence,” an official told a local newspaper.
Reportedly, the accused where called by the FIA to present their defence, however they failed to do so, which granted a cause of criminal proceedings against them.
Meesha Shafi versus Ali Zafar case
In April 2018, as part of the #MeToo movement, Shafi accused Zafar of sexual harassment. The two had worked together in the past.
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“I have been subjected to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar. These incidences did not happen when I was young or just entering the industry,” Shafi alleged as part of a lengthy Twitter post.
In November 2018, Ali Zafar had filed a complaint with FIA cyber crime wing, alleging that many social media accounts were posting “threats and defamatory material” against him.
Zafar had alleged that many fake accounts had been created to launch a smear campaign against him weeks before Shafi’s allegation of sexual harassment against him in April, 2018. He stated that most of these fake accounts were allegedly connected to Shafi, as per local media reports.