Human Rights

Authorities are directed to notify IHC prior to arresting Imaan Mazari in any case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the relevant authorities to notify the court in advance before taking any action to arrest human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari in any legal case.

Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC issued this directive during a hearing focused on Mazari’s petition, in which she sought protective bail and access to information regarding the First Information Reports (FIRs) filed against her.

The legal proceedings stem from an incident on August 20 when Mazari and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir were apprehended following a controversial speech at a political rally in Islamabad.

Both individuals faced charges related to sedition, obstructing government officials from performing their duties, and causing damage to public property.

Notably, on August 28, an Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) granted bail to human rights lawyer Wazir in the sedition case. However, Mazari’s situation took a different turn as she was re-arrested shortly after her release from Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

Following her re-arrest, Mazari was placed in the custody of Islamabad police on a three-day physical remand. Subsequently, on September 2, she was once again granted post-arrest bail by the ATC in the terror case, against a surety bond of Rs10,000.

During today’s hearing, the court directed the authorities to ensure that they inform the court in advance of any intentions to arrest the human rights lawyer in connection with any FIR.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Munawar Iqbal Duggal informed the court that they had already reached out to the provinces after the previous hearing, seeking details about the FIR(s). He added, “We also sent inquiries via fax and WhatsApp.”

AAG Duggal also cautioned the petitioner against making such statements.

In response, the court reiterated its position, emphasizing that they expect to be informed about any FIR. Subsequently, the high court disposed of the petition filed by Iman Mazari.

The FIRs against Mazari include charges of “interference in state affairs,” and they were filed on the complaint of Tarnol Station House Officer (SHO) Miam Mohammad Imran following the PTM rally. These charges include Sections 148 (rioting armed with a 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).

The incident, as described in the FIR, involved clashes between rally participants and law enforcement personnel when the police attempted to halt the rally, leading to road blockades and public disturbances.

Another FIR was registered under PPC Sections 124A (sedition), 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), among others.

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