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Govt Urged To Act Against Online Trolls Harassing Women Journalists

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A campaign against journalist Marvi Sirmed by trolls on social media has been condemned by rights activists. The Coalition For Women in Journalism on Friday issued a statement against the ongoing online harassment of women journalists and termed it worrying.

“The online campaigns against women journalist in the country are reaching unprecedented capacity, this one in particular incites murder of Marvi Sirmed. This falls under incitement of serious crimes against humanity and the authorities must act swiftly to ensure Sirmed’s safety and security.”, the statement read.

“On March 29, our Member Marvi Sirmed became the target of a new online campaign that is spreading misinformation and inciting people to violence against her.

Sirmed was incorrectly linked to a news story about incest. The account that posted the campaign on Facebook goes by the name of Saqib Hussain, started off with installing a false claim that Sirmed brought 10 homeless people to Islamabad and encouraged them to participate in incestous acts. The account is followed by more than 225,000 people. “

The post in question also claims that Sirmed is acting against Islam and wants a “free sex, incestous society.” The trolls stole photos stolen from her Facebook account and made them public, along with other personal details, including her home address, ID card number, and other contact details.

Marvi Sirmed’s home was broken into several times in the last few years. Last year, burglars broke into her house and took away digital devices and important documents, but left other valuables. Earlier, she also narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a gunmen opened fire on her car.

The Coalition For Women in Journalism therefore urged the authorities to take this campaign and the threats attached to it seriously. “They must ensure that it is not this easy for anyone to use misinformation and downright lies to attack and endanger the lives of women journalists.”

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