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Filmmaker Jami’s Rape Allegations Remain Unaddressed

Dawn Media Group had promised an inquiry last year following filmmaker Jami’s allegations of rape and sexual harassment against Hameed Haroon, the CEO of the media organisation. The media group in question had taken notice of the allegations and Haroon responded with a legal notice to the filmmaker. They had also promised a special investigation that was supposed to take place within the organisation. But it has been four months since they announced this, and there have been no updates.

Dawn has also not offered any justification for their silence in the matter. Jami has been constantly trying to reach out to media organisations and has been raising his voice against the alleged crime, but all in vain. There has been deafening silence from the media groups who otherwise advocate accountability for the perpetrators of sexual abuse.

Jami also routinely urges journalists to publicly ask Dawn as to why nothing has come out of the probe, but to no avail. Jami has also been calling upon human rights organisations, reaching out desperately, but no one wants to cover the issue.

With the exception of a few outlets like Naya Daur, Samaa and The News, no one has covered Jami’s allegations and Dawn’s subsequent response in detail. Since Dawn is one of the biggest media houses in Pakistan, it does not come as a surprise to anyone if the CEO were able to get away with this. The chances of him being made accountable for his alleged actions are very few because sexual harassment is rapmpant in Pakistan and almost everyone gets to walk off free and without charge, much like Ali Zafar.

When Jami leveled the allegations, he received a great deal of vitriol in response and people said that his rape accusations against Haroon were politically motivated. If the investigation is not done, the victims of sexual harassment will get discouraged from making their experiences public. Dawn should hold a impartial inquiry and make its findings public.

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