PAKISTAN: Rights Activists Detained and Arrested for Taking Part in Peace Rally Must Be Released Immediately
October 16, 2018 SEOUL, KOREA – Pakistan’s arrest of rights activist is an attempt to silence the voice of the people, an increasing trend of suppression in the country. Pakistan authorities started to crack down on those who participated and organized in a peaceful rally that took place in August 2018, in which thousands gathered to speak out against injustices, detaining and arresting ten already. Among the ten includes human rights defender, Gulalai Ismail, who was detained for over eight hours on October 12th at the Islamabad Airport on her return from London. Gulalai’s passport was confiscated and advised that she was on an Exit Control List, restricting her to travel abroad. Although she was released, she is to appear in court on the 18th and if bail is not granted she will be arrested for her participation in the August peace rally.
“The Asia Democracy Network regrets such incidents are happening under the new leadership of Imran Khan, in Pakistan. The international community harbored hope in Prime Minister Khan to uphold human rights and to ensure democratic practice in the country. Fundamental freedoms must be guaranteed and respected. Gulalai and the nine activists arrested must be released immediately and unconditionally” stated Secretary-General of ADN, Mr. Ichal Supriadi.
Pakistan’s civic space is rapidly shrinking, restricting the platform for free speech, assembly, and association of the people. ADN condemns the persecution of rights activists for speaking their truth infringing on their fundamental freedoms. It is vital that democratic principles must be respected to ensure human rights in Pakistan.
Asia Democracy Network
PDF version of the statement is available HERE: ADN S66_Pakistan Detain Rights Activist