The lawsuits between Pakistani popstars Meesha Shafi and Ali Zafar have been in the news for some time now. However, many Indian publishing sites have recently announced that Shafi is being conferred 3 years of jail time. No news has been announced about the court’s verdict as yet.
— Usman Zaman Khan 🌟 ™ (@UsmanKhanSOS) March 15, 2021
— IYI (@CapD323) March 15, 2021
Good. False accusations should be punished severely. It damages the cause for real victims.
Guilty >>>FIA files complete challan against Meesha, Iffat Omar, Maham Javaid, Leena Ghani, Haseemus Zaman, Fariha Ayub, Syed Faizan Raza and Ali Gul Pir.https://t.co/xFVJ0sdp4P
— Cynthia D. Ritchie (@CynthiaDRitchie) March 15, 2021
Two years ago Pakistani singer Meesha Shafi set off the country’s most high-profile #MeToo debate when she accused fellow pop star Ali Zafar of groping her. Now she is being prosecuted on a criminal defamation charge and is facing possible prison time. https://t.co/ABU3jOjIHq
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 12, 2021
According to Gulf News, Shafi might as well face up to 3 years in prison IF she loses the defamation case filed by actor-singer Ali Zafar. Last year, Shafi and 8 others were booked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) cybercrime wing in Pakistan for involvement in a smear campaign against Zafar.
Shafi’s case derives from a sexual misconduct claim made almost three years ago, which became a crucial #MeToo movement case in Pakistan. Many women came out with their stories of harassment.
Reportedly, a judicial magistrate ordered Shafi’s presence last week in a criminal case registered under the cybercrime law after Mr Zafar made a complaint. The First Information Report filed under section 20 of the Pakistan Electronic Crime Act and section 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code for allegedly running a smear campaign against the complainant on social media carried a jail term of up to three years. The hearing, for now, has been adjourned to March 27.
Ali Zafar filed a complaint against the social media accounts posting “defamatory material” against the actor in 2018. The complaint was made to the FIA cybercrime wing, where Ali provided a few Twitter and Facebook account details as proof to support his claim.
He alleged them to be involved in a deliberately orchestrated smear campaign against him. He also claimed how a number of fake accounts were created to implement the smear campaign and defame him. He specified one particular Twitter account by the name of @nehasaigol1 that posted 3000 defamatory tweets against the actor in one year; Ali claims this account was created only 50 days before Meesha’s allegations of sexual harassment against Ali Zafar.
Shafi has already lost several legal battles against Zafar. She is currently in Canada and will be attending court proceedings online. Shafi often travels to Pakistan for work which poses a risk of arrest, says her lawyer, Saqib Jillani, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal.
Pakistani documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, “Who’s going to come forward in future, if powerful men can do this to those who speak up?”
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