KARACHI: Human Rights defenders and social activists on Friday expressed serious concern over the initiation of an inquiry into an entire team of the Cyber Crimes Wing officials in Sindh as they had reportedly taken action against four private companies in Karachi.

In a joint statement, the rights activist and advocate Ali Palh, Convener of Sindh Human Rights Defenders Network (SHRDN); Zulfiqar Shah, Member of Sindh Human Rights Commission; Salam Dharejo, child rights activist; Ms. Naghma Iqtidar, youth activist; Ms. Zeenia Shaukat, labor rights expert, Jan Odhano, human rights defender; Akarm Khaskheli, peasants leader; Pirbhu Lal, a rights activist from Hyderabad; Roshan Ali Shah, advocate; Khadim Kaka, advocate and others pointed out that according to media reports the FIA head office has initiated an inquiry against a five-member team of the FIA Cyber Crimes (Sindh) headed by Faizullah Korejo, Deputy Director of FIA Cyber Wing in Karachi for conducting an operation against the private companies, which reportedly belonged to influential persons.

“We personally know Mr. Korejo, who is an honest Police officer and there is no doubt on his integrity and reputation and any such action against him and other reputable officers who were discharging their duties in a professional way is regretful,” the statement said. Korejo was known for his integrity and honesty while serving as a senior police officer in Sindh Police and enjoyed the same reputation while serving as Deputy Director of FIA and Acting Regional Director of the FIA in Sindh.

Police officers are selected to join FIA on the basis of their reputation and professional skills and integrity and this uncalled action by the head office FIA against their own officers is beyond comprehension. The statement said that Mr. Korejo as the head of the FIA Cyber Wing remained accessible to social activists whenever he was approached with complaints related to cybercrimes. “Korejo has established more collaboration with social activists towards the implementation of PIECA 2016 and organized awareness sessions in this regard.”

They said that the manner in which the FIA’s Cyber Wing team has been transferred and an inquiry initiated clearly indicates victimization of the officers on the instigation of some powerful quarters. “We as rights activists believe that this would only hamper the government’s efforts to combat electronic crimes and discourage honest officers performing their duties in a professional manner,” they added.

The social activists demanded the FIA DG to immediately withdraw the false and fabricated charges against the Cyber Crimes officers and demanded the Interior Minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed to institute an impartial inquiry to ascertain the actual reasons for the action against the said officers and compensate for the damage to their professional careers.   
Such actions would discourage the honest officers to take a bold decisions and would create resentment among civil servants.

They pointed out that the Korejo team had conducted action against four private firms under orders by the FIA head office. They said the FIA Cyber Crime Wing in Sindh had done a tremendous job in containing online crimes in the province and the provincial team deserves appreciation, not reprimands. “We stand in support and solidarity with Mr. Korejo and such other officers of law enforcement agencies who perform their duties diligently,” the statement ended


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