US blogger Cynthia D Ritchie has challenged the interior ministry’s rejection of her visa extension request in the Islamabad High Court.
Ritchie, who identifies as a media director and producer, said that she wants this decision to be declared ‘null and void’. The Minister of Interior has issued instructions that violate my rights, she added.
The interior ministry has told the court that I am not involved in any illegal or anti-state activities, she said. “The ministry should’ve heard my viewpoint before ruling against me.”
She said that she has filed cases against people in Pakistan and some cases have been filed against her as well.
The interior secretary and FIA DG have been named as respondents in the petition.
Ritchie has accused former interior minister Rehman Malik of raping her and Makhdoom Shahabuddin of manhandling her in 2011. The accusation has been denied by the PPP leaders.
“In 2011, I was raped by the former interior minister Rehman Malik. That’s right. I’ll say it again. I was raped by then interior minister Rehman Malik,” she had said in a Facebook Live session.
“I was physically manhandled by [former] federal health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and PM Yousaf Gilani while he was staying at President House.”
On May 29, multiple PPP workers had filed complaints against Ritchie on May 29. A letter was written to the FIA’s Islamabad office by PPP District President Advocate Shakeel Abbasi, urging the agency to take action against Ritchie. The letter, dated May 28, 2020, called the blogger’s remarks “extremely derogatory and slanderous”.