Salman Shahid v. Federation of Pakistan

Islamabad High Court
Document type
Court Decision

In February 2017, the petitioner filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court praying that the Court take action into rampant blasphemy online by bloggers. On February 27, 2017, the Islamabad High Court admitted the petition and directed authorities to ‘block social media pages posting blasphemous and objectionable content’. In a subsequent hearing, the Court ordered authorities to place the names of the alleged blasphemers on the Exit Control List, initiate criminal cases against them, and directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to set up teams to monitor and scrutinise social media for blasphemous material.

Finally, on August 11, 2017, the Court ordered a complete ban on Facebook if it did not conform to Pakistani laws in the future and ordered the PTA to identify organisations involved in circulating blasphemous content. Further, it also directed the PTA to create a firewall to block sacrilegious content online.

Topic, claim, or defense
Hate Speech
Dangerous Speech/Violent Extremism
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Appellate Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Host (Including Social Networks)
Issues addressed
Procedural Protections for Users and Publishers
OSP obligation considered
Block or Remove
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Weakens Immunity