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Pakistan: Human rights activist Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, ex-lawmaker Ali Wazir arrested after participating in rally against enforced disappearances
Photo Courtesy: Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir X Page/Ali Wazir X page/Unsplash

Pakistan: Human rights activist Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, ex-lawmaker Ali Wazir arrested after participating in rally against enforced disappearances

| @indiablooms | 21 Aug 2023, 12:10 am

The Islamabad Police in Pakistan on Sunday arrested human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir and former lawmaker Ali Wazir 'for investigation', days after they participated in a rally against enforced disappearances. 

“Islamabad Capital Police has arrested Ali Wazir and Imaan Mazari,” the police said on X (formerly Twitter) as quoted by Dawn News.

Police said: “Both suspects were wanted by the Islamabad Police for investigation. All action will be taken in accordance with law.”

However, police initially did not clarify the case in which these two people were investigated.

According to media reports, the arrests were made in light of the Pashtun Movement March in Islamabad where both of them had participated.

Mazari-Hazir and Wazir gave speeches condemning harassment against Pashtuns and called for missing people to be returned while addressing the gathering, media reports said.

Interestingly, Imaan on Saturday, hours before her arrest, posted on X: "Unknown persons breaking down my home cameras banging gate jumped over."

Later, her mother former PTI leader Shireen Mazari wrote on X: "Just now police women, plainclothes people and r ager types took my daughter away after braking down our front door. Taking away our security cameras and her laptop and cell. We asked who they had xome for and they just dragged Imaan out. They marched all over the house. My daughter was in her night clothes and said let me change but they just dragged her away. Ofcourse no warrants or any legal procedure. State fascism. Remember we r only 2 women living in the house. Thus is an abduction."

Imaan and Wazir were later presented in a district and sessions court on the count of two cases which were heard by Judicial Magistrate Ihtasham Alam Khan, reports Dawn News.

According to the detailed court order, the investigating officer (IO) requested 10-day physical remand for the two in a terrorism case but the judge ordered that the two be presented before an anti-terrorism court for the request with Imaan kept in a women police station till tomorrow, the newspaper reported.

In the second case, the detailed court order said the IO requested five-day physical remand for the two but the judge said the court could not grant Imaan’s physical remand.

Meanwhile, two first information reports (FIR) were registered against them at the Tarnol police station and Counter-Terrorism Department police station on Saturday.

The first FIR was registered on the complaint of Tarnol Station House Officer (SHO) Miam Mohammad Imran under Sections 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) and 506ii (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), reports Dawn News.

The National Commission for Human Rights express its concern over the arrest of the two persons and posted on X: "NCHR is concerned by the arrest of lawyer & human rights defender Imaan Mazari. Late night arrests without warrants as reported by her mother are in violation of due process of law and serve to harrass & spread fear amongst citizens."

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