Humanists issue urgent call to drop charges against Human Rights defender Gulalai Ismail

  • Human Rights Defender and peace activist faces a continued campaign of harassment by Pakistani authorities
  • Gulalai Ismail has been charged with “sedition” in Pakistan in an attempt to silence criticisms of Human Rights abuses in the country
  • Ismail visited the Scottish Parliament at a Humanist Society Scotland event in June 2018 to speak to MSPs about the need for support for Human Rights Defenders
  • Humanist Society Scotland has written to the Scottish Government to urge support for Gulali and other Human Rights Defenders

Internationally renowned human rights and peace activist, Gulalai Ismail is being harassed by Pakistan authorities following a campaign she supported in support of justice in the case of a girl who was raped and murdered. The latest harassment comes only months after she was detained at Islamabad Airport following a visit to London for a meeting of Humanists International.

Gulalai has been charged with “sedition” under terrorism laws in what is clearly a spurious accusation aimed at silencing an important voice for justice and human rights. According to confirmed reports, her family have faced repeated harassment and intimidation by the security forces in Pakistan. As a result, Gulalai is in now in hiding in Pakistan.

Commenting on the arrest, Chief Executive of Humanist Society Scotland – Fraser Sutherland said:

“We are dismayed to hear that Gulalai continues to be harassed by the Pakistan authorities for standing up for Human Rights in the country. We urge the political leaders in Pakistan to ensure that Gulalai and her family are protected from the constant threats of violence they face and the trumped-up charges by law enforcement agencies are dropped.

“We will also be urging the Scottish and UK governments to make what representations they can and to further work to protect Human Rights Defenders around the world.”


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