Cyber Harassment aganist TV anchor and journalist at Dunya TV

13:35 Dec 11 2011 Islamabad, Pakistan

View original report on: Pakistan

Ms Maheen Usmani was a senior anchorperson at Dunya TV News, a private television channel in Islamabad. On 11 May 2009 she received two late-night calls from the channel’s managing director, Mr. Yusuf Baig Mirza. He allegedly asked Ms. Usmani to confirm her cell number and made inappropriate comments on her appearance, before offering her certain favours and reimbursements if she were to keep in touch with him on his personal number.

This cyber harassment started with a cheap phone call from her boss, but when she chose to resign and made it public that she was forced to either quit or give in to his advances (something she made clear in her resignation letter), she was subjected to a barrage of filth in cyber space. Her boss's people wrote anonymous letters and comments, alleging that she was a scarlet woman, a divorcee, a woman of no morals etc. They even got a lady to call her father in Karachi and ask him to get her to withdraw her letter and that she doesn't know what awaits her if she doesn't apologise to YBM." her father was furious and so was her sister, who saw innuendo laden trash on the internet, including Cafe Pyala, (a famous anonymous blog in Pakistan) Cafe Pyala even went so far as to take her display picture from FaceBook to display on their negative article concerning her case. Also, Naseem Zehra, her senior colleague at Dunya News, chose to level all kinds of allegations against her on cyber space by writing letters to PressPakistan, a journalist's website of which I she is a member. She got very disappointed by her attitude and by some of her female colleagues who chose to behave in a similar fashion. The general attitude was why did she speak out? There was also an anonymous letter on PressPakistan which spoke of her penchant for rejecting suitors before her marriage and alleged that she was a loose, immoral woman.
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