Dawn’s CEO Hameed Haroon rejects Jami’s rape accusations and will be pursuing legal action against him.
“I categorically deny the allegation of rape leveled against me by Jami Raza,” said Haroon in a statement posted on Dawn’s website on Monday.
He further stated,
“The story is simply untrue and intentionally fabricated at the instance of those who wish to silence me and through me, to compel the newspaper that I represent to support their repressive narrative.”
The case started to develop on this year’s October 20 when filmmaker Jami tweeted that he had been raped by a ‘media tycoon’. In his tweet, Jami wrote that the incident happened at the alleged perpetrator’s home. At that time, he did not reveal the name.
But, on December 28, Jami revealed the name of his rapist, who turned out to be none other than Dawn’s CEO Hameed Haroon.
Also Read: “Yes Hameed Haroon raped me.” Filmmaker Jami
In reply, Haroon released a statement on Dawn.com, stating
“At the outset, I reiterate my commitment to come to the aid and support of victims of rape, sexual assault and harassment. I unequivocally condemn such dastardly acts whenever and wherever these occur and in whatever shape or form and whether they occur at the workplace or outside. I have always demonstrated sympathy and support for all rape, sexual assault and harassment victims regardless of whether the perpetrator is powerful or not.
“In the same breath, I am conscious that false and malicious allegations are sometimes leveled by powerful groups to serve their own social and political agendas with the calculated motive of destroying the reputation and dignity of a person and thereby to shatter one’s credibility for collateral purposes. […]
“I first met Jami Raza when he was a freelance photographer and aspiring filmmaker in the 1990s or the early 2000s, which was the time that Jami had produced photographs of the Sir Jehangir Kothari bandstand for the purposes of architectural documentation and conservation. Impressed with Jami’s work, I enlisted him in 2003-04 to collaborate with me on a photo essay in the catalogue of the Sadequain exhibition at the Mohatta Palace Museum. I do recall going to his house sometime thereafter to condole on his father’s death but was unable to personally meet him. I do not recall ever being alone with Jami Raza. This has been the sum total of my interaction with Jami.
“I am convinced that the false and malicious allegation has been leveled at the instigation of powerful interests in the state and society who, for their own motives and the promotion of their own repressive narrative, wish to destroy my credibility and as a consequence thereof, the credibility of the newspaper group that I am associated with. It is not a mere coincidence that this particular tweet comes at a time when groups are being organized to demonstrate against Dawn and mysterious wall chalking is appearing, with both demanding the hanging of Dawn’s CEO and also its editorial staff.
“I am determined to expose those behind these false and malicious allegations and pledge to keep aloft the banner of fair and accurate reporting without fear or favour. So far as the tweets and some newspaper reports are concerned, I am initiating legal action to clear my name and reputation, and to safeguard the freedom of the press by bringing to justice all those responsible for these false and malicious allegations against me.”
An editor’s note assured Dawn’s readers it would initiate an inquiry.
Just a few hours after Haroon’s statement was published, Jami said the Dawn CEO’s statement was a “slap to all of us survivors”.
The filmmaker tweeted,
“This entire plot that I’m part of Establishment to bring Dawn down, I had feared will be used against me.”
The filmmaker said he had refused to meet “agencies” even when his journalist friends had tried to make him meet them.
“I’m giving my word to Dawn management that I would never hurt Dawn ever and they should ask around what I’ve already done to protect u all at Dawn,” he said.
Jami assured Dawn’s employees that nothing would be done to them from his side and if he changed his position then he should be held guilty.
“This is all about the #metoo now. Never ever will it be against Dawn,” the filmmaker said.
“If they censor then yes we can brutally protest and that’s all or if any illegal means used against me or family then I will use any means to protect myself.”