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Pakistani Journalist Critical Of Government Arrested

FILE: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistan authorities have arrested a journalist known for his criticism of the government.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said it arrested journalist Rizwan Razi at his residence in the city of Lahore on February 9.

The FIA, Pakistan's law-enforcement agency, said Razi was arrested on a charge of violating the country's cybercrime law.

Razi, who worked for private Din TV, was being investigated for "defamatory and obnoxious" comments about the judiciary, government, and intelligence services, according to FIA.

Razi's son, Osama, told Reuters and AP that unknown men attacked and then dragged his father into a car.

In a separate case, Ammar Ali Jan, an academic also based in Lahore, was arrested over his involvement in a protest at the death of Arman Loni, a regional leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM). He was later released on bail.

A message on Ammar's Facebook page on February 9 said he was taken at 4 a.m. "I am a law-abiding citizen and will not be deterred in the fight for justice," it said.

Police official Azhar Naveed confirmed the brief detention and bail, which followed other arrests over the protests earlier this week. He said Ammar was charged with taking part in a rally, blocking a road and making "anti-state" speeches.

Pakistani journalists say they are facing unprecedented pressure from the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the country's all-powerful army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, which have an oversized role in domestic and foreign affairs.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP