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Pak. filmmaker stirs #MeToo debate with rape allegation

Jami alleges assault by unnamed media tycoon 13 years ago

Acclaimed Pakistani filmmaker Jamshed Mahmood Raza has added new momentum to the country’s fledgling #MeToo movement after airing allegations that he was raped by an unnamed media tycoon.

The director, who is popularly known as Jami, rocked Pakistani social media over the weekend after he published several tweets describing the alleged assault that happened 13 years ago.

“Why im so strongly supporting #metoo? cuz i know exactly how it happens now, inside a room then outside courts inside courts and how a survivor hides confides cuz i was brutally raped by a very powerful person in our media world,” he wrote on Sunday evening.

The tweets were in response to a backlash online after a Professor in the eastern city of Lahore committed suicide after allegedly being falsely accused of sexual harassment.

‘Trust victims’

Amid the backlash, Mr. Jami pleaded with social media users to trust victims of sexual assault and avoid ignoring their accusations.

“I told my few close friends but no one took it seriously,” added Mr. Jami, whose 2015 film Moor (Mother) was a massive hit.

The filmmaker has so far refused to name the tycoon allegedly behind the assault. “@jamiazaad I see you. I hear you. I stand with you. Always,” tweeted popular actress Meesha Shafi — who helped kickstart Pakistan's #MeToo movement in 2018 after accusing a popular singer in the country of harassment — on Thursday.

“Jami is a true ally. This is unprecedented in Pakistan. This kind of revelation from a man,” wrote Twitter user Khizra.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:28:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pak-filmmaker-stirs-metoo-debate-with-rape-allegation/article29789455.ece

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