Dawn media group’s CEO Hameed Haroon has sent filmmaker Jamshed Mehmood Raza, better known as Jami, a defamation notice for making “malicious” statements and leveling “false” allegations against him.
On October 20, 2019, Jami tweeted that he had been raped by a “media tycoon.” He said the incident took place in Karachi, at the home of the alleged perpetrator. The filmmaker did not name the person, which gave rise to speculation as Jami tweeted details of the profile of the person, their interactions and working relationship and his reaction to the incident. It was not, however, possible for journalists to investigate the incident since he did not name anyone.
However, Jami tweeted the name of Dawn’s CEO on December 28.
On December 30, Hameed Haroon said in a statement that he would be pursuing legal action against the filmmaker for making allegations that he raped him over 13 years ago.
“I categorically deny the allegation of rape leveled against me by Jami Raza,” said Haroon in a statement posted on Dawn’s website. “The story is simply untrue and intentionally fabricated at the instance of those who wish to silence me and through me, to compel the newspaper that I represent to support their repressive narrative.”
In the legal notice sent to the filmmaker Monday, Haroon’s lawyers said the “false allegation” against their client was aimed at damaging his reputation.
The notice said: “Unless an unconditional public apology is circulated by you and unless you issue a public statement that your allegation of rape against our client as attributed to you stands withdrawn from all social media posts and other media outlets within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of this notice, our client reserves the right to, inter-alia, institute civil and criminal legal proceedings against you under Section 499 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, and the Defamation Ordinance, 2002, respectively and other applicable laws for restraint, damages and for penal punishment.”
Contact established after 100 days with #DawnNews lets hope they quote me well on self censorship and establishment. Here is the Defamation notice. #metoo @jamiazaad #CNN #bbcnews #AlJazeera @TaranaBurke pic.twitter.com/fVhayqkOCj
— JAMI – SELF CENSORSHIP HELPED ESTABLISHMENT. (@azadjami1) January 6, 2020
The filmmaker confirmed that he received a defamation notice from Dawn’s CEO, saying his contact established with Dawn News after 100 days.
In response to the notice, the filmmaker told Dawn.com that an apology was not “even a distant possibility”.