One of the benefits of working for a U.S State funded media organisation is that you can get away with threats of torture and murder with what seems to be barely a slap on the wrist from management.
It has come to the attention of The Sydney News that Behroz Khan, a journalist at Voice of America, is using his social media platforms to threaten people with violent acts and murder. Mr Khan has made numerous twitter attacks in local pashtu and urdu languages threatening to pull out tongues and take the lives of Pakistani citizens.
اب تو اپنی زبان اور جان کی خیر مانگ کہ تيری زبان نوچی جایگی اور تمھاری جان لی جایگی مطلب، ظلم کیا نا اپنے لوگوں پر https://t.co/x7OhKALEqe
— Behroz Khan (@KhanBehroz) June 23, 2018
The Sydney News contacted Voice of America management who advised that Mr Khan was warned of the inappropriateness of his tweets. This was followed up with a tweet by Voice of America management reaffirming this. Twitter has not responded to notifications of this content.
The tweet was unacceptable. A tweet from any VOA journalist should not call into question VOA’s credibility as a reliable news organization.
— Steven Springer (@StevenASpringer) June 27, 2018
This is not the first time Mr Khan has used inappropriate language or threatened someone breaching the Voice of America Social Media Code of Practice and also Federal US Code 875 (c) which makes cyberthreats of this nature punishable with up to 5 years in prison.
Mr Khan’s timeline is full of tweets like “You Will Pay The Price” kind of threats.
You will pay the price. Mind it https://t.co/hillt32qnH
— Behroz Khan (@KhanBehroz) June 3, 2018
— Behroz Khan (@KhanBehroz) August 14, 2016
Recent EU guidelines propose that European based social media platforms remove content that incites terrorism within an hour of notification. Germany has taken the lead with this by implementing tough hate speech laws that make companies such as Twitter liable (with fines up to €50 million) if they don’t remove content like Mr Khan’s within 24 hours of notification.
Yet in America a US State funded news organisation seems to think a simple warning is sufficient action in response to a man who is not only threatening but also inciting violence, and hatred against individuals and the State of Pakistan.
The public response to Mr Khan’s tweets has been an overwhelming request for Voice of America to investigate and take appropriate action against Mr Khan. Given the local and international context of his actions a warning seems grossly insufficient.
Mashallah. Now ‘VOA Deewa’ journalist & TTPTM miscreants are openly threatning to kill Pakistanis on twitter.@peaceforchange@FIA_Pakistan@StevenASpringer@VOADirector@johnlansing@TwitterSupporthttps://t.co/4ROpqbaSlK
— Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) June 25, 2018
I’m glad @VOANews@insidevoa is taking more serious note of some of its journalist’s shoddy behavior/unethical reporting. Inexcusable tweets have occurred in public domain & VOA is USG external broadcaster, we request @StevenASpringer to hold them 2 account & make results public. https://t.co/huKJ0g9g9s
— Cynthia D. Ritchie (@CynthiaDRitchie) June 27, 2018
This is the journalist of @voadeewa threatening the citizens of Pakistan to be killed and tortured. We are complaining about VOADeewa journalists hateful behaviour towards Pakistan but @StevenASpringer@VOADirector are ignoring it. @johnlansing@OfficialDGISPR#BanDeewaRadio pls
— Shah Wazir (@WazirrShah) June 25, 2018
— Imran MujeebSiddiqui (@SSGPA1) June 26, 2018
Thank you. Please advise if VOA plans to take any action. @twitter@TwitterSupport Now that #VOA has also accepted that the tweet was unacceptable by one @voadeewa journalist. can you please terminate the account of @KhanBehroz ?
— Sohail Gem Wazir🇵🇰 (@SohailGem) June 27, 2018
Death treats by someone who calls himself a journalist are totally unacceptable and It just shows that he is a radical extremist. His facebook account too is full of such radical posts, he tactfully posts such things in urdu and pashto so such they go unnoticed by his employers
— maXes (@maXes_MB) June 27, 2018
CC: @StevenASpringer This VOA Journalist @KhanBehroz has been issuing death threats & Ethnocentric narratives to peddle subversive hate on twitter. Plz look into posts & disinformation of VOA-Deewa. These people are bringing a bad name for entire VOA Network & causing resentment.
— Saad (@Saad__tweets) June 27, 2018
We don’t expect such a radical behaviour from journalist attached with a reputed organisation. In charge of Violating @Twitter laws, journalism principals & for threanening a tweep like an extremist/terrorist, we expect action against @KhanBehroz from “credible” org @VOANews
— J.J (@JazminJaed) June 27, 2018
Thank you for at least responding to this abusive tweet. Pakistanis have been seeing such biased behavior (racist tweets)from VOA platforms majorly from Afghan based journalists which has created a very bad reputation for VOA in Pakistan. Please take corrective measures asap
— Umair Hasan (@UmairEmm) June 27, 2018
— Imran MujeebSiddiqui (@SSGPA1) June 27, 2018
The Sydney News welcomes further advice from Voice of America or Twitter about any outcomes of an investigation into these matters.