Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan charged with terrorism

The charges come after Imran khan gave a speech vowing to sue police and a female judge, and alleging a close aide was tortured after his arrest.

Pakistani police have filed terrorism charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

This comes after Imran khan gave a speech in Islamabad vowing to sue police officers and a female judge, and alleging a close aide had been tortured after his arrest.

The Associated Press (AP) reports Khan himself appeared to still be free and had not immediately addressed the police charge sheet being lodged against him.

ALSO READ: 22 million face starvation in Horn of Africa

Khan’s political party Tehreek-e-Insaf, now in the opposition published online videos showing supporters surrounding his home to potentially stop police from reaching it.

The report against Khan includes testimony from Magistrate Judge Ali Javed, who described being at the Islamabad rally on Saturday and hearing Khan criticise the inspector-general of Pakistan’s police and another judge.

Khan went on to reportedly say: “You also get ready for it, we will also take action against you. All of you must be ashamed”.

Khan could face several years in prison from the new charges, which accuse him of threatening police officers and the judge.

However, he’s not been detained on other lesser charges levied against him in his recent campaigning against the government.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media watchdog has banned television channels from broadcasting live addresses by Khan.

Since being ousted from power in a no-confidence vote in April, the former cricketing star Khan has staged a series of popular anti-government protests.

The ban, effective immediately, was issued late Saturday night – the same day Khan held a rally in the capital Islamabad.

In a series of tweets, an angry Khan criticised the government for stifling freedom of speech.

“The fascist imported government sunk to a new low today by banning live coverage of my speeches on TV and then blocking YouTube temporarily during my speech at Liaquat Bagh. All this after continuous intimidation of media persons and taking channels off air earlier.”

“This is not only a gross violation of freedom of speech but also negatively affects the digital media industry and the livelihoods of many. What they need to understand is that no matter what they do, they cannot suppress the will of the people which is Haqeeqi Azadi,” Khan tweeted.

Khan swept into power in 2018, thanks to an electorate weary of the dynastic politics of the country’s two major parties, with the popular former sports star promising to sweep away decades of entrenched corruption and cronyism.

He remains highly popular among the country’s youth and his speeches draw top ratings on television, with highlights trending on Pakistan’s social media.

ALSO READ: Death toll in Somalia hotel siege climbs to 21

Read more on these topics


Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits