Lahore: A three member Joint Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the case of child pornography, according to a copy of documents available with Digital Rights Monitor.
In February, a man named Hafiz Muhammad Yusuf was arrested from Okara for allegedly making child pornography videos and blackmailing the victims. A case was registered against him under sections 292-C, 376 and 377 of Pakistan Penal Code, Section of 7 of Anti-Terrorism act and Section 19 of Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act.
In Pursuance of the matter for the sake of further investigation, a three member Joint Investigation team comprising of SP Investigation Okara Mrs. Zunera Azfar (Convener), Inspector Mehmood Ul Hassan (Investigation Officer) and a Deputy Director FIA has been nominated at the request of IG Police, Punjab.
Over the recent past, there have been many reported cases of child pornography. It first came into limelight after a gang was busted in 2015 in Kasur making pornographic videos of children. According to Express Tribune, 280 boys under the age of 14 were raped and filmed. The videos were later sent to their families to extort money.
Similar concerns came to fore when a 7 year old girl named Zainab was raped and murdered in Kasur. However, it could not be established that the perpetrator of rape in Zainab’s case was part of child pornography racket.
However, local media reported at least three instances of child pornography including the aforementioned case. In January, a man named Taimur Maqsud alleged to be part of a child pornography ring was nabbed by FIA after authorities in Canada alerted Pakistani authorities. He was allegedly sharing child pornographic content online with people in USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
In April, a man named Sadat Amin was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and fined Rs.1.2 million. He was allegedly part of child pornography ring spread across Sweden, Italy, USA and UK. More than 650,000 pictures and videos related to child pornography were also recovered from his possession.
Pakistan’s Electronic Crimes Act imposes a punishment of 7 years and fine of Rs. 50 million in cases of child pornography.
Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.