Organisers and supporters of the Aurat March Karachi are calling for an apology after a video from the March 8 demonstration was doctored to falsely show participants raising blasphemous slogans and widely shared online.
“The Aurat March faces severe backlash every year. Our videos and posters are targeted and manipulated, spreading misinformation and maligning the March. This year, one of our videos was doctored and heinous allegations are being placed on us,” the organisers tweeted on Thursday.
The organisers shared both videos on the social media platform to show how the words of the slogans raised at the march were changed.
The fake videos were shared by some journalists with massive Twitter followings and led to death threats for the organisers, said the forum.
They are now demanding:
A public apology and immediate retraction by all the journalists and media houses who have shared disinformation about the Aurat Marches and that this point on social media accounts, newspapers, television shows etc.
The individual journalists and media organisations desist from spreading false and malicious information endangering the lives of Aurat March organisers and participants.
That media houses stop inviting individuals with a history of repeatedly and deliberately spreading disinformation on their platforms.
A Google Document being shared online contains both the statement and signatures by over 260 journalists, activists and supporters who endorse it.
She called it a "purposeful campaign" that will "not deter this beautiful and necessary movement".
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has also condemned the campaign against the Aurat March. It said an apology is not enough.
Others have seconded that and said an apology is just not enough.
Activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir noted that several accounts had deleted the doctored videos after they were proved false but many are refusing to do so.
One of the people who has apologised for spreading the video is Hum TV host Ovais Malangwala.
Some people have also called for punishment for the people who spread the doctored videos.
The doctored videos are still available online and so far, no action has been taken against those who spread or created the videos.