Pakistani rights activist: baseless allegations against the family

A senior Pakistani human rights activist said on Friday that his wife and daughter, who had already fled to the United States after being targeted’ by the country's powerful military to investigate human rights abuses by the military, there are new allegations of terrorism.

Pakistani rights activist: baseless allegations against the family

In a telephone interview with the Associated Press, Muhammad Ismail, a retired university professor, said the anti-terrorism court had charged him, his wife and daughter with involvement in two suicide bombings this month. Appeared in the courts, one in 2013 and one in 2015.

"They just want to get our girl with allegations of terrorist financing," Ismail said. "Because they can't get it. They are following my wife, a housewife, who He is not even educated, but he is still behind it and me. "

Human rights activists in Pakistan, such as Ismail, and journalists, have come under increasing attack from the Pakistani government and security agencies, limiting the scope for criticism and dissent.

The highly respected Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a recent statement, "We are deeply concerned about the growing efforts to control the media, stifle free speech, and stifle political dissent." Or the government has a responsibility to protect and secure every citizen, regardless of political beliefs. "

Ismail has denied the allegations, saying he intended to intimidate his daughter, Gulalai Ismail, who fled to the United States earlier this year for safety.

The charges against Ismail, 66, and his family include those filed by Pakistan's civilian investigation agencies in an anti-terrorism court in the northwestern city of Peshawar. It alleges that a donation to her daughter's children's charity, Aware Girls, was spent’ on cars used as suicide bombers. Aware girls face discrimination and abuse against girls and women.

A group known as the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, which aims to help young girls have safer abortions, made the donation. Its office is in rival India, but it operates in several Asian countries.

Gulalai Ismail has long been a staunch supporter of women's and girls' rights, especially in Pakistan's conservative northwest.

In a tweet this week, he blamed Pakistan's security agencies for the attacks on his parents, calling them "shameless" and accusing Pakistani intelligence of helping anti-India terrorist groups such as Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Was the government and the army say they have stopped.

Gulalai Ismail went into hiding and eventually fled the county after a report on allegations of sexual harassment of women and girls in Pakistan's tribal areas led to a report published by him and other rights activists. Pakistan's powerful intelligence agency, abbreviated ISI, accused him of sedition.

The military has categorically denied the allegations, but criticizing the military or its intelligence agency in Pakistan could result in threats, intimidation, sedition, and in some cases without warning. Is.

Muhammad Ismail said he was already facing charges of criticizing the military on social media under the country's clean cybercrime law. "I have never used bad language or said anything that is against Pakistan," he said.

Authorities are trying to revoke his bail and imprison him in a cybercrime case, Ismail said.

Human rights activists are not the only ones carrying out attacks in Pakistan.

Lawyers' groups have also criticized the heavy-handed ideology of journalists who write critically about the military, which is widely seen as a force behind the country's civilian government.

The Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists have issued several statements in recent weeks. In recent days, the federation has criticized journalists for allegations of sedition against Asad Tor, Bilal Farooqi and Absar Alam.

The Federation of Journalists called on the authorities to "rule out the broad powers of the Act to ensure that no journalist is accused of criticizing only government officials and institutions."


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