The Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered to remove name of Dawn reporter Cyril Almeida from Exit Control List (ECL) and also withdrew non-bailable arrest warrants issued against him.
On October 8, journalist Almeida and former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appeared before the court for hearing of treason case.
Almeida’s advocate Ahmad Rauf had already submitted written replies and remarks on behalf of the journalist before the recent hearing.
On September 24, LHC issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Almeida and ordered to put his name on ECL after he failed to appear before the court for the third time.
A civil society activist, Amina Malik filed petition against Almeida, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for making critical remarks against country’s military.
Nawaz Sharif had given an interview to Cyril Almeida on May 2018 in which he made some controversial remarks about the 2008 Mumbai attacks and stated, “Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me.”
Human rights and media safety organizations including Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Council of Pakistan Newspaper’s Editor (CPNE) had termed the decision of court to put journalist’s name on ECL and issue non-bailable arrest warrant against him as an attack on press freedom.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and comprising Atir Mahmood and Chaudhry Masood Jahangir adjourned hearing of the case.