While their intentions might be at the right place, their judgements and actions are questionable. Prominent social and rights activist Jibran Nasir and controversial social media personality Waqar Zaka have rushed to ‘help’ the 15-year-old rape survivor in Karachi and their social media coverage of the same is destroying the privacy of the survivor and her family.
It has to be noted that while Jibran’s efforts helped bring the case to surface and helped the police take action, one of his social media posts gave out the name, address, citizenship number and even phone numbers of the survivor and her mother. The mother of the survivor in an interview to Waqar Zaka said when asked that her photo with Jibran posted in the same post was taken without permission. She pleaded not to politick on the case.
What Waqar Zaka on the other hand did is a prime example of how NOT to handle a rape case. Not only did he dramatised his videos on the case, he too gave out all identification information of the survivor. He brought Raza Bugti, the alleged rapist, in his video on the subject and let him openly bash and slut-shame the survivor and her family. In an over 17-minute video, the two men calmly kept assassinating the character of the survivor’s mother.
Zaka then called the mother of the survivor on her phone and spoke to her in presence of Bugti and broadcasted the entire conversation. He even let Bugti grill the mother of the victim and also included all of it in the cringe-worthy YouTube video.
Zaka appeared biased and the whole video was one-sided where he termed the whole case a story of extra-marital affair with survivor’s mother getting out of hand and implied the woman was using false accusation of rape of her daughter just to get back at Bugti.
Waqar Zaka’s adventurous reporting on the incident has led to social media trolling against the victim. A quick analysis of the comments on the said video showed that almost all the comments bashed and slut-shamed the victim and her family while favouring the rapist.
Privacy especially in the world of social media is already taken lightly in Pakistan. Adventures like these have the potential to negatively affect the survivors and families for rest of their lives. These ‘social media celebrities’ need to be sensitised and educated on privacy related issues and the need for data protection legislation is now more than even in the country so that the victims can get legal remedy against privacy breaches like these.