Journalist Asma Shirazi expressed her satisfaction with the Islamabad High Court’s decision to reprimand ARY News and order them to apologise to her for using her image in a news report unrelated to her. She praised the verdict as a victory for all media professionals facing harassment online and in mainstream media. Two years ago, ARY News used her photo in a news report about the highhandedness of journalists by the Federal Investigation Agency, even though she had no connection to the story. Despite this, a campaign was launched against her without evidence. She appealed to the Islamabad High Court, which ruled in her favor and ordered ARY News to apologize and pay damages. The court emphasized that news channels must report news accurately and in compliance with Pemra laws. Asma Shirazi hopes this verdict will serve as a precedent for other journalists facing defamation and harassment, and she called for the timely hearing of defamation cases. The court directed ARY News to pay the journalist Rs50,000 in damages and broadcast an apology to clarify the situation for the public. The court emphasized the importance of freedom of speech and expression but noted that this does not mean news should be reported in a way that exposes individuals to unjust criticism. If advised, the appellant still has the right to seek damages under defamation law.
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