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- November 3, 2023: Unidentified assailants shot dead journalist and social media activist Sharif Shahzad Sanjrani, affiliated with Jhalawan News, in the Nal Kanta area of Khuzdar, Balochistan province. The people who know him linked his death to his news story published a few months ago, which exposed a person who tortured a woman. Motive: Undetermined Source(s) 2 3 The police have registered a case against a known suspect.
- August 13, 2023: Unidentified assailants killed journalist Jan Mohammad Mahar, affiliated with a local newspaper and bureau chief of a Sindhi-language cable television network KTN News, in Sukkur, Sindh province. The pillion killers shot journalist Mahar four times from a close range. The Local police claimed to have arrested two prime suspects for the murder. Motive: Undetermined. August 26, 2023: Dr. Irshad Memon, Director General of the Health Services Sindh, formed a committee to examine alleged delays and deficiencies in delivering medical care to journalist Mahar. November 22, 2023: The Sukkur police have claimed apprehending three influential individuals on charges of harbouring and facilitating the accused in the murder case of senior journalist Jan Muhammad Mahar. Source
- August 7, 2023: An unidentified shooter killed journalist Ghulam Asghar Khand, affiliated with the Sindhi language daily Sobh, in Khairpur, Sindh province. Journalist Khand's brother Mushtaq Ahmed Khand was also killed at a political rally in 2013. Motive: undetermined. Source: MinuteMirror / ARY News
ASSAULTS | ARRESTS | HARASSMENT
- November 24, 2023: Plainclothes armed men kidnapped two Karachi-based journalists, Ali Sarwar and Anees Mansoori, just days apart. The journalists are affiliated with internet-based HNow TV. Mr. Sarwar disappeared on November 24, 2023, while the specific date of Mr. Mansoori remained unspecified. The police had raided the house of journalist Mansoori and intimidated the family in his absence. The family and friends claimed the journalists were targeted because of their work and the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) kidnapped the journalists. There is speculation that the journalists are caught in the fight between the political rivals Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), as the general elections are scheduled in February 2024. The Sindh Journalists and media practitioners Commission has approached the police and the Interior Secretary of Sindh province.Correspondent
- November 21, 2023: The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province included the name of a former journalist and author, Ihsan Ullah Khan (Dawar), in the list of “the most wanted terrorists” with a bounty of Rs1 million for his whereabouts tips. Mr. Khan called it a case of mistaken identity. However, The CTD alleged that journalist Ihsan Ullah Khan is wanted, and a police case (known as the First Information Report – FIR) was registered against him for an attack on a military post in North Waziristan in 2019. The Miramshah Press Club condemned the CTD allegations and called Ihsan Ullah Khan (Dawar) an “honorary member.”Correspondent
- November 3, 2023: Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain, senior, prominent and ‘Dabangg’ anchor has been ‘Fired’ from ARY, reflecting the challenging state of the media in Pakistan, where voices critical of the PML-N and Sharif family face silencing. Ghulam Hussain was known for his unfiltered and candid approach to conveying his views to the public and had a long-standing association with ARY. The exact reason for his dismissal has not been disclosed by ARY management. Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain is renowned within media circles for his incisive discussions and commitment to seeking the truth. While this attribute is commendable, ARY’s decision to part ways with him signifies the loss of a significant media personality.Former ARY anchor and Islamabad bureau chief, Sabir Shakir, confirmed the development, stating that Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain had been released from ARY. Ghulam Hussain had consistently maintained a distinct stance, advocating not only for a critical evaluation of Mian Nawaz Sharif but also portraying him as a potential leader for the future. UneditedSource & Full Story
- October 28, 2023: Two unidentified pillion assailants wearing masks fired shots and injured a news reporter, Syed Yasir Shah, and cameraman Qasim, affiliated with the privately-owned Geo News, in Kohat, the capital of the Kohat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The attackers targeted senior journalist Shah and cameraman Qasim when they were returning from the coverage of a spiritual congregation, and the injury was the result of their fall from the motorcycle. They were taken to the District Headquarters Hospital, Kohat, with non-life-threatening injuries. Assailants targeted journalist Yasir Shah in March 2023 also. On March 21, 2023, daily The NEWS reported that “Unidentified terrorists attacked the house of a journalist, damaging the abode partially,” in Kohat, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The NEWS quoted the police, “unknown terrorists carried out a blast on the main gate and then opened fire with automatic weapons on the house of Syed Yasir Shah, district correspondent for The News International and Geo.” Motive: Undetermined
- October 15, 2023: Unidentified individuals attacked, assaulted, threatened to kill, and chased out a journalist and YouTuber, Najam Zehra, in Orangi Town, Karachi. Najam Zehra was covering a public meeting called by the Muttahida Quami Pakistan(MQM-P). Ms. Zehra alleged MQM-P activists for the attack. Ms. Zehra said MQM-P activists attacked her and pulled her hijab, tortured her cameraman, and snatched his phone over her reporting of the poor attendance of people in the public meeting. MQM-P is the rival of the London-based Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM-L), led by Altaf Hussain. MQM remained a formidable force in Pakistani politics and controlled the rural parts of the Sindh province with an iron fist for over three decades. The law enforcement agencies disbanded MQM in 1992, and the leadership of MQM, including founder Altaf Hussain, was exiled to London while the deserted members formed their MQMs. https://twitter.com/KorangiSector90/status/1713668411493126346 https://twitter.com/KorangiSector90/status/1713665713494532600
- October 14, 2023: The Khairpur police registered an FIR against 16 reporters along with around 100 people, who were holding a protest in Hingorja against a lesser rate than the officially fixed price of cotton. The journalists were covering the protest demonstration held outside a cotton factory when police arrived and started applying a baton charge on the protesters in an attempt to disperse them. Sobho Dero Assistant Commissioner later proceeded to the venue and held negotiations with representatives of cotton growers. He succeeded in persuading them to end their protest by facilitating negotiations between protesters and the factory management. However, in the evening the area police registered an FIR against 100 demonstrators and included 16 journalists among them. The booked journalists worked for several Sindhi newspapers and TV channels. The police alleged that the journalists had joined in the protest by holding banners and trying to create a law and order situation during the demonstration.Source
- September 28, 2023: A local Jirga (tribal court consisting of all men), evicted the family of journalist Miraj Khalid Wazir. In response to this incident, journalist Miraj Khalid Wazir’s father, Sher Ali Khan, who resides in Wana, the capital of South Waziristan, addressed the situation in a video statement. He explained that his son, Miraj Khalid, had posted on social media, expressing disagreement with a decision made by the local jirga. The jirga interpreted Miraj Khalid’s post as disrespectful and ordered a hefty fine of Rs 5 lakh, along with the threat of demolishing their house.Source
- September 22, 2023: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested journalist Muhammad Khalid Jamil, affiliated with private TV channel ABN News, over allegations of spreading “provocative narrative” against state institutions through social media posts. The first information report — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com — registered by the agency said Hussain was “found sharing and propagating highly intimidating content/tweets on social media/Twitter” (now X). It invoked Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), which states: “Whoever intentionally and publicly exhibits or displays or transmits any information through any information system, which he knows to be false, and intimidates or harms the reputation or privacy of a natural person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine which may extend to one million rupees or with both.” The FIR also included Section 505 (statement conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code. “The accused had knowingly misinterpreted and disseminates anti-state narrative by sharing false misleading and baseless information which are also likely to cause fear in the public and may incite anyone to commit an offence against the state or the state institution or public tranquility,” it said.It added that the “accused persons including Muhammad Khalid Jamil propagated, promoted and glorified anti-state, provocative and hatred narrative against the state institutions.” The FIA, however, did not name other individuals involved in the alleged crime. The agency said such intimidating content of blaming and naming through social media accounts, is a mischievous act of subversion to create a rift between general public and state institutions to “harm the state of Pakistan”.Source & Details September 28, 2023: a local court in Islamabad granted bail to journalist Khalid Jamil.
- September 8, 2023: “A group of armed individuals carried out a violent attack on the Miranshah Press Club in North Waziristan, leaving a trail of destruction and chaos in their wake. During the assault, they subjected club member Noor Bahram to a brutal physical attack, verbally abused him, and ransacked the premises of the press club. Even the security personnel present at the club were not spared, as their uniforms were torn, and they endured physical assaults. Following the attack, Noor Bahram, who sustained injuries, was initially rushed to Miranshah Hospital. However, due to the severity of his condition, he is now being transferred to Bannu. The assailants didn’t limit their actions to physical violence; they also looted and vandalized the press club.”Source
- August 31, 2023: Swat police registered a criminal complaint and raided the residence of Daily Azadi’s Editor Amjad Ali. The FIR was registered by an unknown complainant against Ali for “spreading hate speech on social media against government institutions, inciting unrest in the city, and disseminating propaganda among the public in Swat.” According to the FIR, Ali had shared posts on his social media accounts where he targeted governmental institutions, tried to defame them, and spread propaganda in the city against the institutions of Pakistan. On the evening of August 31, Ali shared that police officials had raided his residence, but fortunately, he was at his office at the time. Despite their efforts, the police were unable to apprehend him that night. Swat Police registered the case at the Mingora Police Station under Sections 500, 504, and 250 of the Telegraph Act. Speaking to PPF, Ali said the FIR against him was “baseless” and claimed that Swat DC Wazir was registering these cases against the journalists for raising voices against him in Swat. “I did not write anything against anyone. However, I have identified the social issues of Swat on social media. They are also pulling me in these matters like Fayyaz Zafar, who was released by the police after DC Swat denotified his 3-MPO notification on August 31,” Ali lamented.Source
- August 30, 2023: Police arrested Fayyaz Zafar, a senior journalist, the bureau chief of Daily Mashriq, and affiliated with the Voice of America (VOA) Deewa Service under Section 3 of the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance (MPO) 1960 in Swat, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The District Bar Association and the administration of District Babuzai officials had alleged Zafar for disseminating fake news and misusing Freedom of Speech. Mr. Zafar alleged police torture and claimed the arrest was made for his truthful reporting. Fayyaz Zafar was reporting the alleged harassment targeting female students at Swat University and the mismanagement of the administration’s alleged corruption. Zafar is also known for his fearless reporting on militancy from the Taliban-infested northern areas of Pakistan. The journalist was released after spending a day in detention over the intervention of the caretaker Information Minister, Murtaza Solangi. https://twitter.com/fayazzafar/status/1697634779020366086
- August 20, 2023: The Islamabad police arrested former lawmaker Ali Wazir and human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir for investigation. Both Mr. Wazir and Ms. Imaan Hazir broke the news of police arrival on X, formerly known as Twitter. Ms. Imaan Hazir informed on social media that “unknown persons breaking down my home cameras banging gate jumped over”. Later, her mother, a former human rights minister and one of the former opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders posted that policewomen and plainclothes did not allow her daughter to change her sleeping clothes and dragged her daughter away. The raiders seized laptops and cell phones from Hazir's home. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police booked Ali Wazir and Mazari-Hazir under sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 149/ 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), and 506-II (criminal intimidation) and, under sections under sedition and terrorism sections of ATA and PPC, including 7/11 W/21I of Anti-Terrorist Act (ATA) with 124-A, 153-A (promotion of enmity between groups), 153 (inciting to riot), 149 (unlawful assembly), PPC of Pakistan Penal Code. A fiery speech of Imaan Mazari in PTM gathering before her arrest alleging uniform is behind terrorism. Mazari is a diehard campaigner for the recovery of the Baloch missing persons. In May 2023, Mazari was briefly arrested over "abusing and defaming the senior command of the Pakistan Army". August 28, 2023: Immediate after her bail, the police arrested Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, in another case, and put her back behind bars. On February 14, 2023, authorities released lawmaker Ali Wazir after 26 months of incarceration for his struggle for Pashtun rights. Ali Wazir is affiliated with the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM).PTM claims the representation of the rights of those affected by the war against militancy and what PTM believes oppressions of the armed forces in the tribal areas. PTI was dismantled by the Pakistani authorities after the May 9, 2023 attacks on military installations.
- August 20, 2023: Provincial Police of Balochistan confessed the custody of the kidnapped journalist Israr Chandio seven days after his kidnapping from Jacobabad, Sindh province. The police allegedly found hashish in the journalist's possession. Mr. Chandio is affiliated with KTN news and reports the lawlessness and illegal drug dealings, in Jacobabad. The reporting journalist (Imdad Soomro) suspected a collusion between the provincial police of Sindh and Balochistan. https://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1693315318507278340 ttps://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1693148310893154514
- July 27, 2023: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) stopped Jibran Nasir, an acclaimed lawyer and ardent human rights activist, and his wife Mansha Pasha from boarding a flight to Dubai. Mr. and Mrs. Pasha had cleared the immigration counter, issued boarding passes and had exiting stamps, as per departure procedures. An FIA officer, apparently receiving information on his phone, informed the couple that they were not allowed to leave the country. The officer did not provide details, a person's name, or the authority he was taking orders from. The ground staff off-leaded the couple’s baggage, and the passports stamped “offloaded.” On June 2, 2023, Mansha Pasha reported the abduction of her husband, Jibran Nasir, an acclaimed lawyer, and ardent human rights activist. According to the police report (known as the first information report – FIR), filed by Pasha, she and Mr. Nasir were going back home when intercepted by a white Toyota Hilux Vigo bearing number plate BF-4356 and a silver-colored Toyota bumped their car from the rear. At least 10 – 15 unidentified armed men forced Mr. Nasir into their vehicle and fled away. Ms. Pasha immediately dialed 15 to inform the police. Mr. Nasir has intervened in several high-profile cases ranging from forced conversions to security forces encounters. Recently he was instrumental on social media against assaults on opposition parties and trials of civilians in military courts. Mr. Nasir returned home after at least 24 hours. He did not share details of his abduction and thanked his wife and supporters for raising their voices for him and organizing a protest in front of the Karachi Press Club. On August 31, 2023, Mr. Nasir said, “Grateful to Hon' SHC for allowing our Petitions and declaring that restricting our travel and offloading us was unlawful and the letter issued in this regard to place my name on the Watch List was without lawful authority as neither any prior notice was given to us in this regard nor any supporting or incriminating material exists to take such measures against us.”
- July 13, 2023: Sania Saafi, Additional Deputy Commissioner Peshawar, threatened to put journalists behind bars when Arshad Aziz Malik, president of the Peshawar Press Club, and other members of the media complaint about police misbehaving with the photojournalist Shahzad Ahmad. Shahzad was filming the police assault on protesting teachers. https://twitter.com/MeFaheem/status/1679524700266049537
- July 9, 2023: Unidentified kidnappers kidnapped Syed Muhammad Askari, a senior reporter affiliated with Daily Jang, and his friend returning home from a wedding in Karachi. Askari’s friend returned shortly. According to the police report filed by Shazia Askari, wife of Askari, and the eyewitnesses, “police and plain-cloth men riding a police van and a white vehicle kidnapped Askari at around 1:15 am on July 9, 2023, while the police denied the custody of Askari. July 10, 2023: Mr. Askari returned home. He did not share any details of his abduction. Motive: undetermined
- June 22, 2023: Muhammad Ishaq Dar, a senior politician and current Finance Minister of Pakistan, got furious and ordered his security staff to snatch the phone and teach him a lesson, and slapped when journalist Shahid Qureshi asked him a question about International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan delays and a collapsed economy. Mr. Dar, affiliated with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and a close relative of PML-N supreme leader, Nawaz Sharif, also attempted to snatch Mr. Qureshi’s phone at the Parliament House. Journalist Qureshi is affiliated with Ausaf Broadcasting Network ABN. Minister Dar was installed as a Minister for the second time due to his close relationship with PMLN leaders. https://twitter.com/ShahidQurashii/status/1671864463190810628 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dR3Alg7SSM&feature=youtu.be Pakistan's economy continued a freefall after his second term as Minister in September 2022.
- June 6, 2023: The police and plainclothes personnel with firearms arrested Zubair Anjum, an executive producer at Geo News, from his residence in Model Colony, Karachi. Wajahat Anjum, brother of Zubair, told the media that the raiders manhandled family members and seized Zubair's phone and the digital video recorder (DVR) from a neighborhood surveillance camera. Immediately after the arrest, the police refused the custody of Mr. Zubair, and a "missing person" case was registered. June 07, 2023: Mr. Zubair returned home 'safe and sound.' He did not share any details. Motive: undetermined
- June 2023: Authorities booked freelance journalists Wjahat Khan, Shaheen Sehbai, Moeed Pirzada, Editor of online news site Global Village Space, and Sabir Shakir, affiliated with BOL news TV channel with sedition and terrorism over allegations of insulting the State institutions and disseminating hate using social media. Wjahat Khan, Shaheen Sehbai, and Moeed Pirzada live overseas while Sabir Shakir remained in hiding to avoid looming arrest. The journalists have denied the allegations. The allegations ensued from May 9, 2023 events when arsonists and rioters attacked military installations, and radio stations and destroyed billions of rupees worth of property. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fyk8tmRaEAEGFTp?format=jpg&name=large
- June 2, 2023: Mansha Pasha reported the abduction of her husband, Jibran Nasir, an acclaimed lawyer, and ardent human rights activist. According to the police report (known as the first information report – FIR), filed by Pasha, she and Mr. Nasir were going back home when intercepted by a white Toyota Hilux Vigo bearing number plate BF-4356 and a silver-colored Toyota bumped their car from the rear. At least 10 – 15 unidentified armed men forced Mr. Nasir into their vehicle and fled away. Ms. Pasha immediately dialed 15 to inform the police. Mr. Nasir has intervened in several high-profile cases ranging from forced conversions to security forces encounters. Recently he was instrumental on social media against assaults on opposition parties and trials of civilians in military courts. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fxm2qybaYAATUkZ?format=jpg&name=large June 2, 2023: Mr. Nasir returned home after at least 24 hours. He did not share any details of his abduction and thanked his wife and supporters for raising their voices for him and organizing a protest in front of the Karachi Press Club. https://twitter.com/MJibranNasir/status/1664695958590967826 https://twitter.com/MJibranNasir/status/1664686342511394855
- May 9, 2023, and onwards: Security forces arrested, kidnapped, and booked opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership, activists, and PTI-leaning media personalities, including You Tuber Imran Riaz Khan, columnist Orya Maqbool Jan and anchorperson Aftab Iqbal. The local courts released Orya Jan and anchorperson Aftab Iqbal, but Mr. Riaz and a YouTuber, Arqum Sheikh’s whereabouts remained unknown. The police manhandled Express News producer, Syed Mustajab Hassan, Suno TV producer Muhammad Faizan Ashraf, daily Intekhab cameraperson Alexander Kalwi, GNN News reporter Faizan Ali and cameraperson Shehbaz Ali, AFP reporter Banaras Khan, GTV News reporter Fateh Bugti. The police booked or arrested Azmat Khan, affiliated with Mashal Radio, Hassan Ali, affiliated with The Nation, Nasrullah Gadani, affiliated with daily Awami Awaz and Rafiq Sajid, affiliated with the Channel City 49, mistaking them as PTI workers. PTI protesters attacked Ahtesham Khan, affiliated with Express-News, and Arif Hayat affiliated with DAWN News, and damaged Aaj TV and DAWN news DSNG vans in different parts of the country. May 20, 2023: The police raided journalist Shahid Aslam, affiliated with Bol News house in Lahore. May 24, 2023: Ali Raza, brother of the senior journalist Sami Abraham filed a police report of the abduction of Mr. Abraham in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. According to the report, unidentified men abducted the journalist on his way back home from Bol News, the news channel he was affiliated with. The police assured the family of full cooperation. Mr. Abraham is among the former PM Imran Khan’s leaning journalists. May 29, 2023: Mr. Abraham returned after six days. He did not share details of his disappearance with the media. May 30, 2023: The Punjab province Inspector General (IG) Dr. Usman Anwar, informed the Lahore High Court that the phone numbers allegedly involved in anchorperson and YouTuber Imran Riaz's disappearances operating from Afghanistan. Imran Riaz disappeared after his arrest on May 11, 2023. September 25, 2023: Journalist Imran Riaz Khan’s brother announced the return of Mr. Khan. Mr. Khan did not share any information about his disappearance. The arrests and protests ensued from a violent countrywide protest by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) after paramilitary forces arrested PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case. The rioters damaged public property worth Rs. 2.49 Billion, exams were canceled, and commuters were stranded for hours in suffocating heat. The PTI leadership's irresponsible and hate speeches against all opponents instigated its activists to attack the national heritage buildings and property, including the former residence of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah House, now Corps Commander’s House, General Head Quarter (GHQ), Radio Pakistan and destroyed the monuments of national pride. The arsonists set Audi dealership in Lahore. In the widely circulated videos, PTI leadership and activists are seen inciting violence and engaging in hate speeches. Mr. Khan has threatened political opponents and continuously labeled them thieves, state institutions, the judiciary, and the media. However, the Islamabad High Court protected Mr. Khan with a “Blanket Relief” and granted him bail in over a hundred cases, and ordered the authorities not to arrest Mr. Khan. The tragic events led to intermittent internet and mobile data suspension, slow surfing, and the suspension of social media to encourage the dissemination of fake news and PTI's powerful media cell to instigate more violence. The internet suspension cost the Pakistan telecom industry whopping losses of Rs1.6 billion. Daily wages workers, delivery services, and vendors could not feed their families. After countrywide violence and destruction, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandiyal shocked the nation and faced fierce backlash by greeting former PM Imran Khan with “Good to see you” while granting him a quick bail. Mr. Khan who blamed the US conspiracy behind his removal, reached back to the US for support. https://twitter.com/murtazasolangi/status/1658321228472414208 https://twitter.com/DanMir_musings/status/1657291698878160896https://twitter.com/EPropoganda1/status/1656960342201860096 https://twitter.com/MurtazaViews/status/1659878276272095232?s=20 https://twitter.com/bilalfqi/status/1659683787071008771?s=20&fbclid https://pakistan24.tv/2023/05/25/53112 https://twitter.com/NazBaloch_/status/1664286366983933955 https://twitter.com/HamidMirPAK/status/1663238662082162688
https://twitter.com/Riazhaq/status/1663095286733082624 https://twitter.com/Mubashar_300/status/1662317960394833921 https://twitter.com/COLSMGHQ/status/1674544738362437632 https://twitter.com/nasirbuttuk/status/1673967997986263042 https://twitter.com/Aadiiroy2/status/1674084624484671489 IMRAN KHAN CONFESSION OF INVOLVEMENT IN MAY 9, 2023 The National Security Committee (NSC), government, and the security forces declared May 9 a BALCK DAY, while PTI alleged the security forces behind riots. May 20, 2023: Pakistan announced the commencement of the legal process for military trials against “planners, instigators, abettors, and perpetrators” involved in the May 9 violence. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet agreed to the military courts for civilians.
- May 9, 2023: Pakistan's largest Jang and Geo TV Network Media Group abruptly terminated the employment of Faheem Siddiqui, who worked as Bureau Chief and also the General Secretary of Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), and Mudassar Saeed, former Senior Executive Producer North Geo News. Mr. Siddique alleged his terminations are the aftermath of organizing the protests for unpaid wages, dues, and stagnant salaries for years. https://twitter.com/geofahmigeo/status/1655853894378090497
- April 27, 2023: Journalist Imdad Soomro reported that a gang kidnapped journalist Irfan Kalhoro, affiliated with private channel Dharti TV, severely tortured and injured him, implicated in a fake case of extortion, and had him arrested in Pannu Aaqil, Sindh province. The gang members also assaulted, injured, and kidnapped Paryal Dayo and his son in police presence after Mr. Dayo went to the police station to check on Mr. Kalhoro. Mr. Paryal Dayo is the President of the Pannu Aaqil Press Club. Later, the kidnappers released Mr. Dayo. In a video statement, Mr. Dayo alleged the kidnappers brutally tortured him and his son over a property dispute. Mr. Soomro and other journalists alleged that Lala Asad Pathan, affiliated with the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), was a treasurer trying to save the gang. Journalist Ghazi Jhandir, the head of the Sindh Journalists Council (SJC), has approached the Commission for the Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners (CJMP) to arbitrate justice for the journalists victimized by the gang.https://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1651854564570570752 https://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1652750091650736128?s=20 https://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1651855185306697728 https://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1653411920198737922 https://twitter.com/ImdadSoomro6/status/1653411920198737922?s=20
- April 19, 2023: Unidentified kidnappers kidnapped journalist Gohar Wazir, president of the Bannu Press Club and affiliated with KhyberNews247. The kidnappers released Mr. Wazir after 30 hours. Mr. Wazir told police that his kidnappers took him to an undisclosed and tortured him. In 2019, the security agencies picked Mr. Wazir to cover the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) protest. Mr. Wazir primarily covers human rights issues. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists - CPJ, the captors gave Mr. Wazir electric shocks. Motive and Kidnappers UNKNOWN
- April 11, 2023: An individual from the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department harassed journalist Sadia Mazhar after she filed a Right to Information request in compliance with the Right to Information laws. According to Ms. Mazhar, the individual is an officer with the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department, Lahore. Ms. Mazhar had filed RTIs at the Sahiwal Club and the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department. The Secretary of Sahiwal Club responded to the RTI with a counterattack by threatening Ms. Mazhar that her RTI is punishable under Section 182 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and a formal complaint against her.https://twitter.com/SaddiaMazhar/status/1645882492833112064 May 15, 2023: Sahiwal Club Apologized to Journalist Saddia Mazhar for Inappropriate Statement.
- April 11, 2023: Unidentified kidnappers kidnapped privately-owned channel Bol News Marketing Head Akash Ram from outside the Bol News office in Karachi. Bol News staff called the disappearance an “abduction.” BOL News Bureau Chief Islamabad Siddique Jan and Sami Ibrahim said that “all proof of Akash’s abduction has been presented to the Supreme Court (SC), and Akash was abducted as Bol decided not to air the voice of those who were abusing the judiciary.” Developing Story – Motive Unknown
- March 26, 2023: Unidentified people attacked cameraman Daniyal, affiliated with Bol News while covering historical inflation in the busy Saddar market of Karachi. In video footage, Mr. Dniyal alleged that the "fruit vendors were attacking a woman; after noticing the media, they attacked the media crew, assaulted the driver, tried to kill him (Mr. Daniyal), and damaged the camera, and the people rescued the crew from the attackers.” Mr. Daniyal was seen with a bloody face in the footage, the blood oozing from his left brow.https://twitter.com/sanjaysadhwani2/status/1639988938688299011?s=20 . The police arrested four fruit vendors for assault.
- March 23, 2023: Azhar Mashwani, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan's focal person and social media activist, went missing and was later found in police custody. The PTI leadership told the media that Mr. Mashwani was arrested from Lahore and later shifted to Islamabad. March 31, 2023: Mr. Mashwani announced his safe return home on his Twitter feed.https://twitter.com/MashwaniAzhar/status/1641752230247165953
- March 21, 2023: Daily The NEWS reported that “Unidentified terrorists attacked the house of a journalist, damaging the abode partially,” in Kohat, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The NEWS quoted the police, “unknown terrorists carried out a blast on the main gate and then opened fire with automatic weapons on the house of Syed Yasir Shah, district correspondent for The News International and Geo.”
- March 20, 2023: Islamabad Capital Police arrested Siddique Jan, a YouTuber, journalist, and Islamabad Bureau Chief affiliated with Bol News. According to the police, Siddique Jan has been arrested in the case 03/23 that ensued from the rioting at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC)https://twitter.com/ICT_Police/status/1638067800206987264.Violent clashes erupted between the riot police and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters at the time of opposition leader Imran Khan's court appearance. The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has increased arrests, censorships, and cases targeting PTI supporters. PTI Chief and ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan continues to defy court summons and use human shields to avoid arrest. March 22, 2023: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) repealed the charges and released Mr. Jan.
- March 14 & 15, 2023: The powerful and politically connected land-grabbers attacked the media crew, injured Shahadat Baloch, a senior Cameraman affiliated with AajNews, Kashif Mushtaq, Geo News reporter and Zeeshan Iqbal, Geo News cameraman. The attackers damaged the Aaj News Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van and equipment and snatched an Apple watch and smartphone from the Geo crew in Gulistan-e-Johar, Karachi. The journalists sustained non-life-threatening injuries.. The media teams were on the spot for the coverage of the authorities’ action to vacate the land from allegedly illegal occupants. Over the years, the land mafia has emerged as an invincible force backed by politicians, influential, dominant individuals, and groups. Among many people who lost their lives resisting and blowing whistles against the land mafia, author, director of Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), and social activist Perween Rahman was murdered in 2013 for her activism. Another motive for the murder was intolerance towards other ethnicities. The court freed all four accused, citing a lack of evidence. However, the main suspect was handed a much lighter punishment than what was fitting to the crime.
- March 1, 2023: Dawn newspaper reported Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) “activists tortured some reporters and cameramen and damaged the equipment” in Toba Tek Singh, the Punjab province. A former PTI minister Farrukh Habib had invited the local media to celebrate a court order for the elections within 90 days. Journalists boycotted the event after the assault. Sourcehttps://www.dawn.com/news/1739797
- February 28, 2023: The police assaulted journalists Saqib Bashir Express-News, Zeeshan Syed Neo TV, Shah Khalid ARY News, Abbas Shabbir Bol News, and Idrees Abbasi GNN in the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The journalists alleged a deputy inspector general of police and an Assistant Commissioner were present and witnessed the assault. The Ramna precinct police refused to register a police report (known as the first information report – FIR), even though the police assault was captured by IHC surveillance cameras. The Press Association of Supreme Court (PAS), Islamabad High Court Journalists Association, and other journalist organizations appealed to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, but the government took no action. The reason for the police assault remained unclear, and no injuries have been reported. Eventually, after six days, the police registered a case. https://twitter.com/asifbashirch/status/1631300660049199104 https://twitter.com/MAZAMGILL5/status/1631991191645437953
- February 27, 2023: Authorities arrested Amjad Shoaib, an octogenarian retired lieutenant general, Youtuber, and analyst, under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups, etc) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), in Islamabad. Mr. Shoaib was booked after expressing his opinions in a TV show. On March 2, 2023, a court ordered Mr. Shoaib's release.
- February 20, 2023: A journalist Liaqat Hussain affiliated with the daily Qoum, filed a police report (first information report – FIR) against five known and 20 unidentified men for assault, robbery of Rs.27,300, a watch, his cell phone, and held him hostage, in Rahim Yar Khan, the Punjab province. Mr. Hussain sustained eye injuries. According to Mr. Hussain, the motive for the attack was his coverage of the land-grabbing.Source https://www.dawn.com/news/1738372/two-dozen-booked-for-torture-of-journalist
- February 18, 2023: Senior journalist and anchorperson Hamid Mir reported via his verified Twitter account @HamidMirPAK the arrest of four journalists Ghulamullah Sial, Pervez Gopang, Ahmad Ali Rind, and Dost Ali in Khairpur, Sindh province. He also quoted the journalists' allegations that they were arrested for crime reporting and the police refused to provide a copy of the police report (first information report – FIR) to their lawyer https://twitter.com/HamidMirPAK/status/1626900889524137984 . The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mir Rohal Khoso denied the claims of torture https://twitter.com/MirRohalPSP/status/1626937623020199938 and Tweeted the accused have been booked for extortion. However, the journalists were released upon the intervention of the provincial leadership. Later, journalist Ghulamullah Sial reiterated the torture claims and said the arrests were made purely because they reported on police and criminals collusion. https://twitter.com/HamidMirPAK/status/1626915281460420609
- February 17, 2023: The police arrested Ahmed Abbas Orakzai, a founding member of the National Democratic Movement (NDM), a movement that claims to fight for the rights of Pashtuns in Kohat, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Mr. Orakzai's party and friends called him a peace activist and said he had been arrested for welcoming Ali Wazir, a lawmaker who was released from jail after almost two years.
- February 16, 2023: A local court sentenced Sikander Zaman (@imsikanderzaman), a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporter, for tweeting against the Pakistan army and its leadership. Mr. Zaman has been sentenced to three years with huge fines under sections 20 (Malicious code), 24(c) (Legal recognition of offenses committed to information system) of PECA (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act) Act 2016, sections 500 and 505 (Punishment for defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to the court, Zaman was part of a “highly obnoxious and intimidating campaign.” Six army officers were martyred in a helicopter crash while performing flood relief duties on August 1, 2022.
- February 2, 2023: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested BOL News anchorperson and YouTuber Imran Riaz Khan at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore. According to the police report (first information report – FIR), partly shared on social media verified accounts, Mr. Khan has been booked under the 2016 Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) and the penal code. On January 30, 2023, Mr. Khan criticized retired army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa for his alleged involvement in politics while addressing a seminar titled “Violence against journalists in Pakistan.” February 3, 2023: A court ordered the release of Mr. Khan. Chronology of Arrests and Harassment:July 15, 2022: Authorities barred Imran Riaz Khan, from flying to Dubai for medical tests. Mr. Khan alleged that something was harmful in the food given to him during his detention. He had a return ticket to Pakistan. July 5, 2022: Provincial Punjab police arrested Imran Riaz Khan from Islamabad Toll Plaza. His arrest violated his pre-arrest bail by the court. More than a dozen police reports (FIRs) have been filed against Mr. Riaz across the country with charges from sedition to insulting the state institutions and inciting violence. Mr. Khan was released after the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted bail on July 9, 2022. Journalist Khan has been reporting intermittent police built-ups and drone surveillance around his house.
- January 2023: Authorities arrested journalist Shahid Aslam, affiliated with Bol News, over his alleged involvement in the tax data leak and publishing a story of the retired army chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa, in Lahore. Mr. Aslam had reported that the former army chief and his family embezzled over Rs12.7 billion during Mr. Bajwa's tenure as army chief. The Pakistani government called the leak a breach of personal information. The counsel representing Mr. Aslam denied his client's involvement in the information leakage. High-ranking officers of the Pakistan armed forces are elites and considered above the law. January 19, 2023: A court granted bail to journalist Aslam.
- January 11, 2023: Unknown attackers attacked, threw a grenade, and attempted to set ablaze the house of a senior journalist Muhammad Ali Turi in Kurram district, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Journalist Turi's mother and daughter were home at the time of the attack but did not report injuries. Mr. Turi is the vice president of the Kurram Press Club, affiliated with the Suno (listen) radio station and Public TV. The police were investigating the motive of the attack.
MINORITIES | BLASPHEMY
- November 2, 2023: The members of a proscribed extremist religious group shot dead a man, Umair Ali after a court granted him bail in a blasphemy case. The banned group had accused Umair Ali of blasphemy (section 298-A) and threatened him with dire consequences. SourceUmair Ali belonged to the Shiite (Shia) community.Hate crime/ Blasphemy
- October 1, 2023: Minority rights activists and groups monitoring abductions, forced conversions, and forced marriages of minority girls reported at least five incidents of abductions, forced conversions, and forced marriages in October 2023; a 15-year-old Christian Mishal Rasheed, minor Christian girl Samreen Aftab Joseph were subjected to abduction, forced conversion and forced marriages while two minor Hindu girls Pooja and a 13-year-old Hindu girl Radha Meghwar kidnapped from Tando Muhammad Khan, Sindh province. The family of a 15-year-old Hindu girl, M***** K****, filed a police report (first information report – FIR) naming three suspects and unknown men for gang rape. The victim has verified the claims in a video message. However, the police allegedly delayed filing the FIR and failed to arrest the suspects.Source . FreedomTalk.net does not disclose the names of rape victims. We disclose only convict’s names after being convicted in the court of law and our experts believe the due process has been followed by the courts.
- October 1, 2023: Religious fundamentalists desecrated and damaged two graves belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Bhulair, the Punjab province.RELIGIOUS FREEDOM/ HATE CRIME Source A clear violation of Sec 297 of PPC which criminalizes trespass in places of sepulcher and indignity to human corpses. The Sunni majority makes up 76-80% of the total population of Pakistan and vehemently refuses to call Ahmadis (Ahmadiyya or Qadyani) Muslims. The Sunni forced Ahmadis not to bury their dead bodies in the Sunni cemeteries. The Ahmadis are subjected to prolonged persecution in Pakistan. A former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, declared Ahmadiyya or Qadyani “non-Muslim,” in 1974. Since then, hundreds of the members of the Ahmadiyya community have been killed, thrown in jails, and deprived of employment opportunities. Tens of thousands have left Pakistan. Since the declaration, the Ahmadiyya community has been subjected to continuous persecution and discrimination by the succeeding governments and vigilantes. Ahmadiyya community is not allowed to call their worship place a masjid (mosque) like the rest of the Muslims. It is also a punishable offense for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslim refer to their faith as Islam or use references from Muslim books. Under Sections 298-B & C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC)." Section 298-C of the PPC prohibits the Ahmadiyya community from identifying themselves as Muslims. Under Section 298-C of PPC, "Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves "Ahmadis" or by any other name), who directly or indirectly poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine."
- October 1, 2023: Minority rights activists and groups monitoring abductions, forced conversions, and forced marriages of minority girls reported forced conversion and forced marriage of a 15-year-old Hindu girl Rani, in Mirpurkhas, and 12-year-old Dadli from Umerkot, the Sindh province, while 13-year-old Christian girl Kinza was abducted from Faisalabad, the Punjab province and converted to Islam, in September 2023. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME Each year, as many as 700 Hindu and Christian girls, mostly minors, are kidnapped in Pakistan, while many cases remain underreported. The court rulings often side with the kidnappers as police collude with the criminals. The majority of the victims belong to underprivileged families. The rapists use marriage and forced conversion to Islam as a convenient method to get away with rape charges of minority underage girls. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) banned marriages below 18, which carries a penalty of up to Rs200,000, and three years and rigorous jail time for the facilitators. However, the kidnappers have been filing fake evidence of the victim's age, and the courts have been accepting the paper admissible despite the objections and alternative proofs of age from the kidnapped girl's parents. POLITICAL MEDDLING: Sindh province is ruled by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), predominantly consisting of wealthy landowners with political inheritance. PPP vehemently protects the Bhutto family and the vested interests of its members while people continue to beg for clean water, medical, transportation, jobs, security, and cleanliness. Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as "Mian Mitthu," is the ringleader of forced marriages and forced conversions of underage minority girls in the Sindh province also belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
- September 29, 2023: A group of radicals attacked, desecrated, damaged, and razed the minarets of the two worship places of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Jehlum and Okara, the Punjab province. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME Source
- September 22, 2023: The Assistant Commissioner in Daska Kalan, Sialkot, and the police attacked, desecrated, and destroyed 74 tombstones in a graveyard belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community.HATE CRIME/ RELIGIOUS PERSECUTIONSource
- September 22, 2023: Human rights lawyer Jibran Nasir reported the arrest and torture meted out to Christian Pastors Ghazala Shafique, Vicky, and Luke. According to Mr. Nasir, “Update: horrifying details revealed by Pastor Ghazala Shafique. She has been released from DSP office but her phone has been withheld. She contacted her family from someone else's phone. She revealed that the Police put a black cloth on Luke Victor's face and took him and Pastor Vicky away beating them both. She has now gone to PS Sadr Faisalabad to get Luke and Pastor Vicky released. Extremely alarming and condemnable action by Punjab Police in #Faisalabad against human rights activists further weakening the voices of #Christian citizens of Pakistan. Two prominent human rights activists from Karachi Pastor Ghazala Shafique and Luke Victor have been detained by Police in Faisalabad. Their crime? They went to Faisalabad to help one Pastor Vicky and provide him legal representation as Pastor Vicky was unlawfully kept captive by local police and subjected torture being forced to state that the deadly attack on him after Jaranwala incident was self inflicted claiming that Pastor Vicky shot himself so real culprits could remain safe. Today Pastor Ghazala at 4.30 in the evening along with Luke Victor uploaded a video from Pastor Vicky's house narrating his ordeal after which the two are reportedly held by Police. Luke Victim kept at Sadr Thana Faisalabad and Ghazala Shafique at DSP office. Trigger Warning: video made of Luke Victor at Sadr Thana Faisalabad after his release. He had bruises all over his body. His crime to help find the truth about Pastor Eliezer alias Vicky's case who got shot a few days after #Jaranwala incident. @MohsinnaqviC42 must launch an inquiry into @OfficialDPRPP over this incident. It only highlights how vulnerable the christian community is and how they are completely at mercy of the state authorities. While Luke and Pastor Ghazala have been released Pastor Vicky has been reportedly arrested by transposing him from Complainant to accused in the very FIR Pastor Victor got registered against attack on him. (Unedited) https://twitter.com/MJibranNasir/status/1705298689730683009 https://twitter.com/MJibranNasir/status/1705243632457191643
- September 21, 2023: A group of religious fundamentalists attacked, desecrated, and damaged the windows and furnishing of the worship place belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community at Martin Road, Karachi. It was the second attack at the same worship place this year. HATE CRIME/ RELIGIOUS PERSECUTIONSource
- September 19, 2023: Activists of the government-backed radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) shot a member of a Christian family in the leg and brutally tortured them after the family asked them not to write political sloganeering on their house wall in Kasur, the Punjab province. Source Reference RELIGIOUS FREEDOM/ HATE CRIME
- September 14, 2023: Radical clerics filed a blasphemy case against a man Abdul Sattar, affiliated with the Muslim-Shia community under section 298A in Kot Qaisarani, Dera Ghazi Khan, the Punjab province. The plaintiff alleged the accused for desecrating the family of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). HATE MOTIVATED ACTION/ BLASPHEMY Source
- September 2023: Religious fundamentalists vandalized, damaged, and demolished the minarets of three worship places belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Bedaadpur Virkan near Muridke, Kirto Narang Mandi, and Nano Dogar in Sharqpur, Sheikhupura, the Punjab province. Edited Source RELIGIOUS FREEDOM/ HATE CRIME
- September 12, 2023: Bar Association Pattoki (The Punjab province) passed a condemnatory resolution over police action against individuals for writing hate slogans targeting the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community. The association termed police action a conspiracy against Muslims. The police had booked some individuals under the Punjab Prohibition Act 153A PPC, Expressing Matter on Wall Amendment Act, Police Report 1023/23. HATE MOTIVATED ACTION https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F5zdjQ0aQAA-s4k?format=jpg&name=large
- September 8, 2023: A group of radicals and police attacked, desecrated, damaged, and razed the minarets and arches of the worship place of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Shahdrah, the Punjab province. The police cordoned off the area to support the demolishment. Source1 2 RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- September 8, 2023: The police arrested a Christian couple, Shoukat Masih, and his wife Kiran, under blasphemy section 295B over allegations of desecration of the Muslims Holy Book in Lahore, the Punjab province. BLASPHEMY / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F5gqnKlXQAAAJj-?format=jpg&name=900x900 October 18, 2023: A local court granted bail to Shoukat Masih and his wife Kiran.
- September 7, 2023: A Muslim teacher brutally beat and injured a 9-year-old Christian boy over blasphemy allegations in Christianabadi–Khanewal, the Punjab province. The teacher alleged the boy had torn a page from his Islamic Studies book. Source BLASPHEMY / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
- September 5, 2023: Unidentified assailants on a motorcycle shot and wounded a local pastor, Eliezer, as he was heading home after dropping his child off at school. The attack, allegedly driven by accusations of blasphemy, has sent shockwaves through the community. Local authorities responded to the incident, with City Police Officer (CPO) Usman Akram Gondal, SSP Operation Dr Rizwan Ahmed Khan, and SP Jaranwala Bilal Sulheri arriving at the scene shortly after receiving the report. The injured pastor was rushed to a nearby hospital for immediate medical attention.Source and Details
- September 4, 2023: A group of radicals attacked, desecrated, and damaged the worship place of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community located at Magazine Lane Saddar, Karachi. The attackers fled after the security guard fired in the air. Sources (s) 1 2 RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME Police arrested three suspects following the attack. Source(s)1 2 . The suspects were granted bail within a few days.Source
- September 1, 2023: Minority rights activists and groups monitoring abductions, forced conversions, and forced marriages of minority women and girls reported forced conversion and forced marriage of a 16-year-old Hindu girl Maryam Kolhi, while Shanti Kolhi was abducted and converted to Islam, in August 2023. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- August 31, 2023: Radicals attacked and tortured a man over blasphemy allegations in Larkana, the Sindh province. The police have arrested the suspect.Source RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION / HATE CRIME
- August 30, 2023: A group of radicals and police attacked, desecrated, damaged, and razed the minarets of the worship place of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Sheikhupura, the Punjab province. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- August 29, 2023: The police vandalized and erased the Kalima (a mandatory verse of Islam) from the Mosques belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Shadiwal and Chooknawali, Gujrat, the Punjab province.SourceRELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- August 25, 2023: Radical clerics filed a blasphemy case against a man affiliated with the Muslim-Shia community under section 298A in Khairpur, Sindh province. The blasphemy allegations were linked to a Facebook post on Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) companions. HATE MOTIVATED ACTION/ BLASPHEMYSource
- August 22, 2023: “At midnight, unknown individuals inscribed praises for Allah on Central Brooks Church's wall in Karachi, a photo shared by a Christian friend. If the church removes it, there's a risk of sparking blasphemy rumors, and potential violence, akin to Jaranwala." Source RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- August 21, 2023: Urdu media expunged the word Ahmadi (Muslim minority Ahmadiyya /Ahmadi community) while quoting Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan speech. The PM had said that the State and constitution would stand by the Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, and Ahmadis if their lives and property were attacked by a group or individual. https://twitter.com/IamAmirMahmood/status/1693895657457606734
- August 20, 2023: The police arrested six men belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Lahore, the Punjab province. Police arrested Wajahat Ahmad Qamar, Shafique Adil, Nasir Ahmad, Mudassir Ahmad, Shiraz Ahmad, and Umer Ahmad Bajwa on ridiculous allegations of posing as Muslims under sections 298C of PPC, punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a fine.Source RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- August 20, 2023: Pakistan designated a radical cleric, Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, head of the organization All Pakistan Ulema Council, for promoting interfaith harmony. Ashrafi has been a strong supporter of blasphemy laws and has openly threatened the Muslim and non-Muslim minorities in Pakistan. Ashrafi is a highly terrifying figure for minorities, has been a special representative to the government, and held various key positions in succeeding governments.https://twitter.com/desmukh/status/1693226720487231564
- August 18, 2023: Local police accompanied by the government-backed radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) desecrated and demolished the arch of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community, in Sialkot, the Punjab province. https://twitter.com/IamAmirMahmood/status/1693294182046286044 RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- August 16, 2023: A group of at least a hundred radicals attacked, burned, and destroyed twenty-one Christian churches and desecrated the holy cross, Bibles, and sacred items in Jaranwala, a sub-division in Faisalabad district, the Punjab province. The rioters also attacked Isa Nagri, a Christian colony in the area, and brunt down a hundred Christian houses to the ground. The police and the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) delayed action and facilitated the rioters to continue their reign of terror for several hours. After a social media backlash, the para-military forces called in, and the area was sealed, and section 144 was imposed for seven days. Minority and Christian activists named twenty churches either destroyed or partially damaged; Pastor Salim Arif AEC Church Isa Nagri, Pastor Rizwan church, Pastor Adnan Michael Gung Dum of the Church, Major Mashuq church, Lonnie of the Catholic Church, Pastor Isa Aile's Church Press Baptist Church Maharwala, Press Baptist Church Citizens, Pastor Amir Pathan's Church of Gardkamwana, Catholic Church Christian Colony, The Salvation Army Church, FGA Church in Farooq Park, Church of Pastor Umar Shahzad, FGA Yasir Town Church, Pastor Phillips' Calvary Church of Nora Colony, Calvary Church 240 Chuckwala, Major Amjad Salvation Army Church, Catholic Church Basti Isanagari, Pure Gospel Church in Nora Colony, Amazing Grace Church in Shahrwan, and Pastor Naveed Mukhtar BM Church. Many Christian families lost all belongings, hid for safety in the woods, and slept in the open. The attackers looted and destroyed all they could. Source(s) 2 The next day, radicals attacked a Christian cemetery, and desecrated, and damaged the graves of Christians, in Jaranwala.Source Details: The riots erupted after the Muslim residents allegedly found burnt pages of the Muslim Holy book and accused two Christian brothers Raja Aamer Masih and Raki Masih, of blasphemy. The police booked the accused under sections 295B and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The government-backed radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) aggravated the situation by provoking the radicals to join the attacks and destroy the Christians. Following the TLP calls, the mob rapidly grew into thousands. The police booked at least 140 suspects, including the leaders of the radical jihadi groups, Mohammad Younis Rizvi, president of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Jaranwala, and Syed Asifullah Shah (TLP) under Sections 295 (desecration of a worship place), 295-A (hurting religious feelings) of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The provincial Punjab police and eyewitnesses said the rioters seemed pre-planned; the rioters were equipped with rocks, burning chemicals, matches, and batons. August 20, 2023: Bishop Abraham Daniel of the Sahiwal Baptist church said that tensions escalated in a 186/9-L village when 27-year-old Christian, Ehsaan Shan Masih uploaded a video on social media containing blasphemous images that had triggered the attacks in Jaranwala on August 16. Source KrossKonnection. August 20, 2023: The provincial Punjab government banned media from a church when Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi, caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab province, met the Christian community after the Jaranwala mob attack. Sameer Ajmal was the only journalist in the church who broke this news. Source August 22, 2023:Dawn.com reported that according to estimates compiled by Faisalabad’s district administration, at least 22 churches ransacked by mobs suffered damages to the tune of Rs29.1 million whereas 91 houses that bore the brunt of violence suffered losses to the tune of Rs38.5 million. The administration forwarded this report to the provincial government. The list of items destroyed by the mob included fans, air-conditioners, water filter plants, generators, carpets, furniture, and other electrical appliances. Aug 25, 2023: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)-led fact-finding mission has said that the brutal mob-led attacks against the Christian community in Jaranwala were likely part of a larger, organized campaign of hatred against the local Christians. August 28, 2023: Dr. Usman Anwar, Punjab Inspector General Police (IGP), informed the media that the police have arrested three main and 180 other suspects. He also told the media that hostile agencies were involved in the Jaranwala incident. He did not name any agency or share further details. Background: Over the years, Pakistan has been surrendering to the demands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a party of violent religious fundamentalists, overt supporters of blasphemy laws, and anti-minority Shia and Ahmadiyya. TLP used every opportunity to seize the streets of large cities in the country to terrorize minorities. The TLP has killed and injured several civilians, and law enforcement officers, destroyed federal and public properties worth billions of rupees, and brought the country to a halt, in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In November 2021, fearing the seizure of the capital city of Islamabad and the parliament, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees, including those who were charged with the killings of civilians and at least 12 policemen. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the coverage of TLP occupation and attacks to hide the killings and destruction. In June 2023, the coalition government of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) surrendered to the demands of TLP and agreed on speedy trials for blasphemy accused, de-notify all Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) notifications against the TLP, and the accused under 295C would also be charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) Section 7, and technology to filter the blasphemous material from social media. In August 2023, The Senate amended the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 to increase the punishments for those who disrespect Ahle Bait or Sahaba-e-Karam (family and friends of Prophet Muhammad). The amendments were celebrated by the radicals while minorities feared more deaths and destruction. Those convicted of insulting Prophet Muhammad's wives, friends, or relatives will now face ten years in prison, a sentence that can be extended to life, and a fine of 1 million rupees. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION / HATE-CRIME Faisalabad police investigation concluded the unfortunate incident a case of personal enmity.Source
- August 14, 2023: A Hindu man in Pakistan’s Punjab province has been arrested for allegedly committing blasphemy by making ‘disrespectful’ comments about Muslim holy places and shifted to jail to protect him from an enraged mob. The police took the suspect — Akbar Ram of Rahim Yar Khan district, some 400 km from Lahore — into custody on the complaint filed by Faisal Munir, a person from his area, who produced two witnesses before the police to make a case against him. Source
- August 14, 2023: Local police accompanied by the government-backed radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) desecrated and demolished the minarets of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community, in Chak 543, Burewala, Vehari, the Punjab province. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION/ HATE CRIME
- August 7, 2023: Religious fundamentalists vandalized, damaged, and demolished the minarets of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Chak 168 Murad, Bahawalnagar, the Punjab province. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM/ HATE CRIME https://twitter.com/bilalfqi/status/1688873077004816384
- August 5, 2023: Religious fanatics killed 22-year-old man Abdul Rauf Barkat, an English teacher affiliated with a private English center, over blasphemy allegations in Turbat, Balochistan province. The English center students had filed a complaint with local clerics alleging Mr. Rauf committed blasphemy while delivering a lecture on Earth's gravity. The clerics visited the coaching center and heard both accusers and Mr. Rauf, who denied the blasphemy allegations. Later, the clerics called the accusers and Mr. Rauf to a seminary for further inquiry. The unknown assailants shot dead Mr. Rauf on his way to the seminary to clarify his position. Mr. Rauf's family did not file a police report fearing repercussions.BLASPHEMY
- August 3, 2023: Gojra police arrested a mentally challenged person on charges of alleged blasphemy (desecration of the Holy Quran). The First Information Report (FIR) was registered under Section 295 B of the Pakistan Penal Code by one Ghulam Mustafa, who also happens to be an officer bearer in the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Source
- August 1, 2023: Minority rights activists and groups monitoring abductions, forced conversions, and forced marriages of minority women and girls reported forced conversion and forced marriage of three underage girls; Angel Robin (Christian), Riya Kumari, and Sanam Meghwar (Hindu). Converted: Radhika Kumari, Nita Kumari, Puja Kumari, and Lakhman Kohli, mother of four. Abducted: 13-year-old Sana and Amro Kohli in July 2023.
- July 2023: Amid an increased wave of attacks and demolitions of worship places and desecration of graves belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community, the government-backed radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) and other religious organizations openly called for the removal of the minarets from Ahmadi places of worship or face the dire consequences. The TLP also threatened the Hindu community with beheadings if they built new Mandirs (temples). https://twitter.com/MonaChaudhryy/status/1679511383262543874 https://twitter.com/Shanyousaf6/status/1679548395512274959 RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION / HATE-MOTIVATED INCIDENT Violation of Article 20 of the Pakistan constitution and the Supreme Court of Pakistan 2014 ruling of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, religious fundamentalists, local authorities, and the police destroyed the minarets and dome of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Kalara Kalan, a village near Gujarat, in the Punjab province. The demolishers snatched the phones of the onlookers to prevent video recording. The police and the authorities said, "They acted under the court orders.”
- July 18, 2023: Religious fundamentalists desecrated, damaged, and blackened the tombstones of three graves belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Jhelum, the Punjab province.RELIGIOUS FREEDOM/ HATE CRIMEhttps://twitter.com/MonaChaudhryy/status/1681693257619632130
- July 8, 2023: The police arrested a Christian man Zaki Masih over blasphemy allegations and booked him under Sections 295-A and 298 of the blasphemy laws in Sargodha, the Punjab province. The plaintiff alleged that Zaki had shared blasphemous material on his Facebook account. Mr. Zaki had shared the post, posted by a Muslim man. Despite the clarification by the local religious leaders that the post was not blasphemous, the police did not release Mr. Zaki.
- July 4, 2023: The government-backed radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) sealed the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community place of worship "Baitul Zikr" in police presence, in Chak 24 Sanghar, Sindh province. https://twitter.com/MonaChaudhryy/status/1676435020074958849 RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION / HATE-MOTIVATED INCIDENT
- June 30, 2023: The police booked a Christian man Haroon Shahzad S/O Younas Masih, over blasphemy allegations under sections 295-A and 298 for posting Bible verses on his Facebook feed in Sargodha, the Punjab province. The police registered the case after religious fundamentalists filed a police report. Source: Kashif Nawab, Affiliated with Christian Journalists Association of Pakistan. 295-A carries a maximum punishment of ten years, fine or both; section 298 extends to one year, or with fine, or with both. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION / HATE-MOTIVATED CASE
- June 19, 2023: Mumtaz Masih, the father of young a Christian woman, Samreen, who escaped a rape attempt by a Muslim employee of the local hotel has been accused in a false case of theft. Samreen said that she worked as a domestic servant at Basti Rehan Pure, Kabir Wala, Khanewal. She explained: “On the morning of June 10, my mother dropped me off at my workplace and when I finished my work around 11 am, I was coming home with my aunt.Source and Details
- June 17, 2023: Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah signed a 12-point agreement with the radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) and agreed to add Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) Section 7, in addition to the other sections of the Penal Code over blasphemy allegations. The blasphemy allegations carry the death penalty or life imprisonment with a fine as punishment.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fy2RurjaEAAiyAM?format=jpg&name=large https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fy2Ru9nacAEqVJ2?format=jpg&name=large Over the years, Pakistan has been surrendering to the demands of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan's (TLP), a party of violent religious fundamentalists, overt supporters of blasphemy laws, and anti-minority Shia and Ahmadiyya after they seized the streets of large cities in the country and killed several on-duty policemen. The TLP has killed and injured several civilians, and law enforcement officers, destroyed federal and public properties with billions of rupees, and brought the country to a halt in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021. In November 2021, fearing the seizure of the capital city of Islamabad and the parliament, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) unbanned TLP and released all the detainees including those who were charged with the killings of civilians, and at least 12 policemen. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the coverage of TLP occupation and attacks to hide the killings and destruction.
- June 13, 2023: Pakistan Federal Shariat Court (Islamic Court) repealed the rights of the transgender community granted under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 and Transgender Persons (Protect of Rights) Rules 2020. In the aftermath of the rulings, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) ordered to cease the registration of Transgender persons. NADRA instructed the government departments in a letter to HQ Legal Dte ION No. HQ/LEGAL/1/1(3/2022-FSC Dated 9th June 2023, to only use male/ female while disclosing the government documents' gender/sex.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F1keoeTakAA5VAx?format=jpg&name=large The Islamic Court orders violated the Constitutional Rights, Supreme Court orders, Trans law, Election Act 2017.
- May 2023: Within a few weeks, at least two hundred members of the Hindu Bheel community converted to Islam in Halejvi Dargha and Mirpurkhas, the Sindh province. Hindu and religious rights activists termed the conversions forced. Bheel is one of the most impoverished Hindu communities in Sindh and is often victimized by forced conversion, kidnapping of underage girls for forced marriages, and deprivation of justice. Converting to Islam somehow protects the Hindu community from injustice and kidnapping of the young girls. https://twitter.com/voice_minority/status/1660523225208483840 https://twitter.com/voice_minority/status/1654422941877039105 Each year, as many as 700 Hindu and Christian girls, mostly minors, are kidnapped in Pakistan, while many cases remain underreported. The court rulings often side with the kidnappers as police collude with the criminals. The majority of the victims belong to underprivileged families. The rapists use marriage and forced conversion to Islam as a convenient method to get away with rape charges of minority underage girls. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) banned marriages below 18, which carries a penalty of up to Rs200,000 and three years and rigorous jail time for the facilitators. However, the kidnappers have been filing fake evidence of the victim's age, and the courts have been accepting the paper admissible despite the objections and alternative proofs of age from the kidnapped girl's parents. POLITICAL MEDDLING: Sindh province is ruled by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), predominantly consisting of wealthy landowners with political inheritance. PPP vehemently protects the Bhutto family and the vested interests of its members while people continue to beg for clean water, medical, transportation, jobs, security, and cleanliness. Mian Abdul Haq, commonly known as "Mian Mitthu," is the ringleader of forced marriages and forced conversions of underage minority girls in the Sindh province also belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
- May 30, 2023: A 22-year-old Pakistani Christian was sentenced to death for blasphemy on May 30th. Noman Masih was found guilty of blaspheming the Muslim prophet Muhammad because of the pictures he was accused of distributing in 2019.Details and Source:
- May 26, 2023: The police arrested six women over blasphemy allegations in Mirpur Khas, Sindh province. One of the arrested women claimed 'they were campaigning against drug dealers in the area after their (women) children started taking drugs.' The angry drug peddlers attacked their shanty setting and injured two boys. The victims reached the police station to file a police report and police letter for the medical examination of the injured, but the police sided with the attackers. After repeated attacks by the drug peddlers and the police refused medical tests, victims protested on a plot close to a mosque, and a shanty also belonged to the mosque. On the day of the protest, the shanty was found to be burnt, which resulted in arrests, blasphemy, and terrorism charges against the victims.Source
- May 23, 2023: The police arrested 77-year-old lawyer Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq, belonging to the beleaguered Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community, over a blasphemy allegation for saying mandatory Islamic greetings ‘Assalam o Alaikum’ (peace be upon you) in a case registered in 1992. The police arrested Mr. Tariq after he was granted bail in a case for using the name Syed.RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION / HATE-MOTIVATED CASEOn April 27, 2023: the police booked a lawyer Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq, belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community, under blasphemy sections 298-B and 298-C for using the surname 'Syed.' The plaintiff Muhammad Azhar Khan, a lawyer, filed a police report (known as the first information report – FIR), alleging that Mr. Ali Ahmad Tariq intentionally recognized himself in the court as Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq (Syed is the sacred name for Muslims with the links to the lineage of the Holy Prophet). Mr. Tariq is a Supreme Court of Pakistan Lawyer.
- May 22, 2023: Muhammad Naeem, affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a party based on religious extremism, filed a police report under blasphemy sections 295-B / 295-C against his relative in Rahim-Yar-Khan, the Punjab province. Naeem alleged his close relative Rafique Ahmad for desecrating Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his daughter and recording a video. 295C carries the death penalty.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FwzxT5OaYAAWMXx?format=jpg&name=large RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
- May 19, 2023: The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) ruled that the change of gender is against the Islamic (Shariat) laws, and a person cannot choose to do it. The ruling also declared sections of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2018 un-Islamic. The court ruled Sections 2(f) (definition of ‘gender identity), 2(n)(iii) (definition of ‘Transgender Person), and Sections 3 (recognition of the identity of the transgender person) and 7 (right to inherit) of the Transgender un-Islamic. The vulnerability and plight of LGBTQ go beyond segregation, abandonment, violence, body shaming, gender-based violence, and gender-biased laws in Pakistan. The clerics are hesitant to do their religious rituals after their deaths, and now the graveyards are refusing the funerals – They are killed, hated, isolated, and mocked just for what they are. Motive: RELIGIOUS BELIEFS / HOMOPHOBIA https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fwhi6glaEAA6uK0?format=jpg&name=large https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fwhi4iJaUAAU8p3?format=jpg&name=large
- May 18, 2023: The police arrested two Christian males, 18-year-old Adil Babar and 14-year-old Simon Masih, and booked them under Section 295-C (punishable by death) of blasphemy laws. Babar and Masih had a heated argument with a police constable Zahid Sohail in the neighborhood over some issues. Blasphemy allegations are widely and arbitrarily used in Pakistan against political opponents, petty issues, and minorities in particular. BLASPHEMY / MINORITIES
- May 12, 2023: Mission Net Work News reported a man broke both arms of a Christian missionary for preaching and distributing Bibles. “He was coming out of a prayer meeting and was going to take a motorcycle cab ride. He began to minister to his fellow Pakistani and said, ‘We distribute Bibles and I want to give you a Bible. I’m a Christian, and Jesus Christ is the only way to our Father in Heaven.’ [The driver] seemed to be receptive to that. Then [the driver] drove him out off the path and severely broke both of his arms, his wrists, and his hands and told our Mission Cry missionary that ‘you’ll never distribute Bibles again.” Motive: HATE CRIME / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
- May 4, 2023: Religious fundamentalists and arsonists attacked and set a Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community mosque on fire and destroyed the minarets and properties, causing millions of rupees in damages to the property, in Dholanabad, Mirpurkhas, part of Sindh province. The intruders used ladders to enter the mosque. The police were reluctant to register the case till filing this report. Motive: HATE CRIME / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
- May 5, 2023: A mob lynched a 40-year-old Maulana Nigar Alam over blasphemy allegations in a public meeting called in by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in Mardan, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The victim had said in his speech to the PTI workers, ‘I respect him (referring to one of the leaders of PTI) like a prophet.’ The victim was affiliated with PTI, a cleric and an activist calling for the toughest, blasphemy laws. According to the reports, the killers were participants in the PTI meeting, but no one attempted to protect the victim. https://twitter.com/ASY53/status/1654943718896549889
- May 4, 2023: Unidentified shooters killed seven teachers, belonging to the Muslim minority Shiite (Shia) community in a school in an examination hall of the Government High School of Teri Mangal area, the Kurram district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The killing of seven teachers, followed immediately after unknown shooters had killed a Sunni Muslim, a rival sect teacher in the area. According to the Police, "a land dispute dating back to 1950 between Gedu and Pewar villages has been claiming the lives of the villagers." In 2021, sixteen villagers were killed over a land dispute. The crime scene is located in a remote area bordering Afghanistan and is largely inaccessible for journalists and human rights activists to verify the police or administration account. Motive: the Police called it a LAND DISPUTE however Human Rights activists called for more investigation fearing a sectarian or HATE CRIME.
- April 27, 2023: Muslimabad mosque and graveyard refused the rituals and burial of an elderly transgender person, Noor, in Karachi, Sindh province. According to Aaj News, “Hina then called Shahzadi Rai for help, as she is the transgender representative for the Sindh Police and has contacts with senior police officers. The police cooperated after Shahzadi made a few calls. They issued Hina the permission letter and a forensics team was sent to Noor’s house. The body was then finally taken by Edhi’s ambulance for a burial.”https://www.aajenglish.tv/news/30319369/muslimabad-mosque-graveyard-refuse-transgender-body-funeral Motive: RELIGIOUS BELIEFS / HOMOPHOBIA
- April 27, 2023: The police booked a lawyer Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq, belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community, under blasphemy sections 298-B and 298-C for using the surname 'Syed.' The plaintiff Muhammad Azhar Khan, a lawyer, filed a police report (known as the first information report – FIR), alleging that Mr. Ali Ahmad Tariq intentionally recognized himself in the court as Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq (Syed is the sacred name for Muslims with the links to the lineage of the Holy Prophet). Mr. Tariq is a Supreme Court of Pakistan Lawyer.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FuuGYkTX0AEz3aL?format=jpg&name=900x900Motive: HATE CRIME / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION May 22, 2023: a court granted bail to Syed Ali Ahmad Tariq.
- April 25, 2023: The police arrested a man Muhammad Ismail for assaulting a man Sikandar William for his Christian faith in Sialkot, the Punjab province. The police identified the attacker Ismail in a viral video where he was heard abusing and torturing Mr. William for his faith. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FukERJkaEAITWDa?format=jpg&name=largeMotiveHATE CRIME / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
- April 19, 2023: The police arrested a Muslim man Muhammad Sarmad, and Musarrat Bibi, a Christian widow and mother of three young daughters, for blasphemy allegations in Arifwala, the Punjab province. Ms. Bibi and Mr. Sarmad work for a local school. The supervisors asked them to clean the storeroom. They complied and burnt the old papers (a common practice in Pakistan). Later, people claimed to have found the sacred pages and alleged Ms. Bibi and Mr. Sarmad for blasphemy. SourceMorning Star News May 12, 2023: Muhammad Sarmad, and Musarrat Bibi released on bail.
- April 16 & 17, 2023: Religious fundamentalists armed with hammers and iron rods attacked and demolished the minarets and dome of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Sargodha, the Punjab province. The mosque was built in 1905. The Ahmadiyya community said, “The police were also present at the time of the attack, and the police know about the attackers.”https://twitter.com/SaleemudDinAA/status/1647986794347261952?s=20 Motive: HATE CRIME / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
- April 16, 2023: Pastor Younis Jawaid Masih, Church Incharge Khokar Town Islamabad, filed a police report Number 330/23 (known as the first information report – FIR), police Station Khanna, about “sexual harassment on his daughter when she was coming to the Church with her brother. He further reported that the same day, at least forty assailants fired shots, attacked and desecrated the Church during congregation," and fled before the police arrived.” The pastor has named some accused in the FIR.
- April 15, 2023: The local police took a Chinese engineer in protective custody to protect him from mob lynching over blasphemy allegations at the site of the Dasu hydropower project in Kohistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. According to some reports, the engineer disciplined a worker related to the job. The worker interpreted that as blasphemy and attacked the engineer's office with workers. Mr. Tian is the head of heavy transport at the China Gezhouba Group Company constructing the Dasu hydropower and denied blasphemy allegations. However, the police charged him with blasphemy, and Mr. Tian was in jail even after 24 hours. Blasphemy has been widely and arbitrarily used in Pakistan to settle personal enmity and frighten minorities. During Ramadan, the labor and production output dropped significantly in Pakistan. People take longer breaks for prayers, and most government employees do not report back to work after 1 p.m. April 26, 2023: An anti-terrorism Court granted bail to Mr. Tian.
- April 14, 2023: A furious mob tried to lynch a woman over blasphemy allegations in Faisalabad, the Punjab province. The local police reached in time and took the woman into protective custody. The mod dispersed after the police assurance of punishing the suspect with a fitting punishment. However, the police arrested the suspect, identified as Sana, her sister, and brother-in-law, for blasphemy. The incident ensued from a video of a lady claiming her sister a prophet and endorsing her.
- April 13, 2023: A man identified as Zubair Anwar attacked and injured a lawyer Amir Munir, belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community and known to defend the blasphemy accused, in his chamber in Chiniot, the Punjab province. Mr. Anwar used a cleaver in the attack and loudly threatened to kill the victim. Mr. Munir sustained injuries to the head. The attacker is affiliated with a seminary Khatam e Nabuwwat Madrassa, which promotes Jihad and death to the other faiths. The attacker has attacked the members of the Ahmadi community in the past. The victim has filed a police report Serial No. CHT-LAL-003485.https://twitter.com/shezanmango/status/1647219097267044353 Motive of the attack: HATE CRIME / RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
- April 6, 2023: The Lahore High Court Bar Association issued a Press Release alleging that blasphemy against the sacred personalities of Islam continues on social media. The Press Release arrogantly claimed that it had 119 people locked up behind bars and eleven suspects for blasphemy sentenced to death. http://www.freedomtalk.net/ calls the Press Release extremely disturbing and detrimental to the fairness of law and justice. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FtRS8yrWAAEp0LS?format=jpg&name=large
- April 6, 2023: The police booked Muhammad Ali Mirza, a self-proclaimed religious rhetorician, and YouTuber, under section 16/ 1960 of The Punjab Maintenance of Public Order ordinance. The plaintiff had requested to book Mr. Mirza for alleged blasphemy under section 295C.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FtRbqXjXoAAEil2?format=jpg&name=large
- April 1, 2023: Minorities and human rights activists reported the abductions of at least two Hindu females from different parts of the Sindh province. The parents, friends, and families alleged the Muslim men kidnapped Sheela Meghwar and 17-year-old Lachmi for possible forced conversions for forced marriages in March 2023. They also alleged the police and local administration for not registering timely police reports.
- March 24 & 25, 2023: Violating Article 20 of the Pakistan constitution and the Supreme Court of Pakistan 2014 ruling of the then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, religious fundamentalists, local authorities, and the police destroyed the minarets and dome of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Kalara Kalan, a village near Gujarat, in the Punjab province. The demolishers snatched the phones of the onlookers to prevent video recording. The police and the authorities said, "they acted under the court orders.” RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION / HATE CRIME
- March 16, 2023: Shahzadi Rai, transgender rights activist and the violence case manager at Gender Interactive Alliance shared footage of the people harassing and threatening her. Ms. Shahzadi called the intruders “clerics” who were holding acid bottles, hurled life threats, and intended to harm her. Ms. Shahzadi said this was the fourth time the intruders had shown up at her door. She was not home at the time of the occurrence, and her friend, who was at home, made the footage. The police have registered a case. https://twitter.com/ShahzadiRai/status/1636301327218122753 https://twitter.com/ShahzadiRai/status/1636347590135382018
- March 7, 2023:District Bar Association Gujranwala (Punjab Province) banned members of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community from the Bar membership. The Bar Association declared it mandatory to sign an affidavit and oath denouncing the Ahmadi faith. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FreY4OXWwAA34j8?format=jpg&name=medium On October 13, 2022, the provincial government of Punjab made an affidavit mandatory for marriage that the newlyweds believe in the finality of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The announcement has been made on the verified Twitter account of the Punjab government. The lawmakers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) work together for the resolution to disconnect the persecuted Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community from social assimilation. https://twitter.com/GovtofPunjabPK/status/1580813342004105219 In September 2022, Muhammad Naeem Chattha Qadri, a cleric affiliated with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), ordered his supporters to attack the pregnant women, belonging to the persecuted Muslim minority Ahmadiyya community. He repeatedly urged his followers to kill Ahmadis in his speech. He asked his supporters to make sure “no Ahmadis are born and kill the newborn babies.” He also warned police that TLP is unstoppable. In September 2022: the Chief Minister (CM) of Pakistan’s largest province Punjab, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, promised to build a mosque with a ban on Muslim-minority Ahmadiyya community entrance. He also warned the Christians, Hindus, and Muslim minorities to accept the repressive status quo or leave the country. September 2022, in the middle of the worst political crisis and biblical floods in Pakistan, Mian Javed Latif, a lawmaker and the vice president of the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), alleged opposition leader and ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan for blasphemy. In his speech, he also disdained the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community. Targeting minorities for political gains is an established mindset in Pakistan.https://twitter.com/i/status/1569953908373569536
- February 25, 2023: Unidentified armed attackers attacked Marvia Malik, Pakistan's first transgender News Anchor, and Trans rights activist, in Lahore, the Punjab province. Malik told the police that she had been receiving threats for some time over raising her voice for the rights of the transgender community.She said her activism was the motive for the attack. Malik remained unhurt in the attack. In 2018, a privately owned Kohenoor TV hired Marvia Malik.
- February 18, 2023: Violent offenders accused and tortured Nosh, a teenage Christian sanitary worker, for stealing a cell phone in Malir Christian colony, Karachi. After Nosh repeated denials of committing the theft, the attackers kidnapped, tied, and tortured Nosh all night in a nearby house. The brutal torture marks were visible all over the body of Nosh. Later, the investigation proved Nosh's innocence, and the offenders released him.https://twitter.com/FreedomTalkNet/status/1631239153101750272
- February 2023: Armed attackers shot dead Muhammad Osama alias Mahnoor and critically injured Israr alias Gulalai, members of the Transgender community in Swat, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The police claimed to have identified the suspects and conducted the raids for arrest. The motive of the murder is still under investigation.
- February 11, 2023: Religious fundamentalists attacked a police station, dragged a blasphemy suspect in custody out of the station, beat him to death, and burnt his body over blasphemy allegations in Nankana Sahib, the Punjab province. Before lynching the victim, the mob stripped him and dragged him on the streets. The victim Muhammad Waris was in custody over allegations of desecrating the Holy Book of Islam and sorcery. According to the police, hundreds of angry people gathered outside the station and demanded the custody of the victim, but the police ran away to save their own lives. After Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's notice, two senior police officers were suspended for protecting the victim, and the police arrested 12 suspects. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION HATE CRIME In February 2022, an enraged mob stoned to death a 41-year-old man Mushtaq Ahmed, and hanged his body from a tree over blasphemy allegations in Mian Channu, the Punjab province. According to police, “the mosque custodian has seen Mr. Ahmed burning the pages of the Muslim Holy Book, and he informed other people first and later came to the police.” The police claimed eight policemen were also injured who tried to save Mr. Ahmed and arrested 80 suspects. A fierce backlash on social media accused the police of not protecting Mr. Ahmed. A 49-year-old Sri Lankan man Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana was lynched over blasphemy allegations on December 3, 2021, in Sialkot, the Punjab province.
- February 10, 2023: Religious fundamentalists desecrated five graves and removed Islamic inscriptions from the entrance of a shop belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Talwandi Khajoorwali, Gujranwala, the Punjab province. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION HATE CRIME
- February 4, 2023: A mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community was shot at by some unidentified attackers in Satellite Town, the Sindh province. The bullets hit the walls. Some worshippers were inside the mosque, but no fatalities or injuries were reported. https://twitter.com/IamAmirMahmood/status/1622182898291077120 RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION HATE CRIME
- February 3, 2023: Religious fundamentalists vandalized and set on fire two mosques belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community and damaged the property in Umerkot and Mirpurkhas, parts of the Sindh province. RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION HATE CRIME
- February 2, 2023: Religious fundamentalists and supporters of a violent religious party attacked and demolished the minarets of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in broader daylight while the police looked on at Preedy Street, Karachi. The Ahmadi community was struggling to file a police report. The police have yet to arrest the vandals who destroyed the minarets of an Ahmadi mosque a week ago in Karachi. Religious persecution hate crime
- January 22, 2023: In an apparent hate crime, religious fundamentalists sneaked into a cemetery desecrated the graves, and attempted to burn the coffins of the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community in Faisalabad, the Punjab province. Just a few days ago, the headstones of Ahmadi graves were destroyed in the said cemetery.
- January 21, 2023: Religious fundamentalists stopped the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community from burying a 75-year-old woman in the cemetery shared by the Muslim majority and minority communities in Chak Pero, Faisalabad, the Punjab province. The Ahmadi community then traveled an estimated 250 kilometers to bury the body. Religious persecutionhate crime
- January 2023: Violating Article 20 of the Pakistan constitution and the Supreme Court of Pakistan 2014 ruling, the local police forced the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community to remove minarets from their places of worship in Toba Tek Singh, the Punjab province. Religious persecution hate crime.
- January 18, 2023: In an apparent hate crime, religious fundamentalists sneaked into the mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community and damaged the minarets in Martin Road, Karachi.
- January 2023: The local police allegedly desecrated and demolished the minarets of a mosque belonging to the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community at Moti Bazaar, Wazirabad. The police were acting upon a complaint filed under Section 298-B and 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) by a leader of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a party consisting of religious fundamentalists. The demolition and desecrations violated the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruling in 2014 to protect the minorities' worship places and ordered the government to establish a force to enforce the order.
ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE IS A VIOLATION OF MANY INTERNATIONAL LAWS INCLUDING UNGA RESOLUTION 65/209 OF 2006 AND ARTICLE 10 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN
- November 25, 2023: The National Democratic Movement (NDM) reported the abduction of its member Ibrahim Khan Wazir by men in plain clothes. According to the NDM, the police have refused the custody of Mr. Wazir.Source Ibrahim Khan Wazir belongs to the tribal districts of South Waziristan, a hotbed of conflict between native Pashtun nationalists and the Pakistan military. The armed conflict started in 2004 when Pakistani forces reached the region in pursuit of the Afghan Taliban. The Taliban blended and used Pashtun communities as human shields. The nationalists called the fight a conflict to demand their constitutional rights, while the military called it terrorism and insurgency. Hundreds of civilians and law enforcers have died in the conflict.
- November 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least twenty-four Baloch individuals during October 2023. The names of the individuals; Yasir S/O Najam, teacher Muhammad Akbar, Asadullah, Fahim Baloch, Abdul Haq S/O Abdul Hafiz, Nisram S/O Pir Bux, Pazeer Ali S/O Ghani, Affar S/O Sadiq, Barham Dag Nawaz, Amir S/O Amjad, Jahanzeb Imam, Ali Gul S/O Jeet Khan, Hafiz Muhammad Ishaq Pandrani, brothers Zafar Ali and Imdad Ali S/O Raham Ali, Nehal Khan Muree, Sarfraz S/O Ayub, Balach Khalid S/O Khalid, Nawab Hasil Baloch S/O Hasil, Yousuf S/O Pathan, student Farid Baloch (after a fierce social media backlash, authorities admitted Farid’s arrest), Balach S/O Moula Bux, Zafar S/O Haji Ghulam Nabi, Inayatullah S/O Abdul Khaliq and Abdul Wahab S/O Mummad Jan. Returned: Rhim Dad disappeared on August 23, 2023, Sajjad Ali Nichari and Abdul Hameed Zehri disappeared on April 4, 2021. Late updates on Missing Persons: Qaisar Baloch S/O Muhammad Karim disappeared on August 14, 2023.SourceFamily, friends, and rights activists alleged security forces for enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.
- October 2023: Two more dead bodies of missing persons, Muhammad Shafi Bangalzai and Muhammad Yousuf Nichari were found in Balochistan province. Muhammad Shafi Bangalzai was kidnapped from Parkani Street Quetta on August 13, 2023; Muhammad Yousuf Nichari was kidnapped from Killi Nichari Baro, Quetta on August 26, 2023. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) said both Nichari and Bangalzai were killed in an exchange of fire with police. Families and friends alleged the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) kidnapped Nichari and Bangalzai and killed them in a fake encounter.Source
- October 30, 2023: Social media and rights activists reported the disappearance of a Digital Content Creator Imran Noshad Khan, from Lahore, the Punjab province. Human rights lawyer M. Jibran Nasir detailed his disappearance on social media platform X, “Activist and Digital Content Creator @ImranNoshad reportedly missing from Lahore since last night. His native home in Buner was raided by Police and men dressed in civil clothes who took away his younger brother with them. The news about raid has been confirmed by @zalmayzia . Imran recently published a podcast he recorded with @ImaanZHazir which he claimed was being misrepresented by some accounts online. Imran is only guilty of being an active and concerned citizen of Pakistan. I know him personally since he volunteered as a team member in my 2018 election campaign. I demand immediate release of Imran and his brother by State Authorities.” Source Imran Nosha’s clarification, “Just noticed that some social media accounts are sharing chunks from my podcast with @ImaanZHazir and mixing her statements with current political turmoil. I would like to clarify that that podcast was recorded on 4th of April 2023. ½ Source Imran Noshad returned after hours of disappearance and informed his followers,” Guys I am back and safe. Thank you.”Source Mr. Noshad did not share any details of his abduction. (Unaltered)
- October 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least fifty-one Baloch men during September 2023. The names of the individuals; Mir Khan, Qasim Baloch, Hazar Khan Sasoli, Muhammad Jan, Aziz Bugti, Salman Bugti, Haji Mian Khan S/O Saleh Bugti, Ali Bux S/O Ali Khan Bugti, Brothers Dil Muhammad and Deen Muhammad S/O Jawansal Bugti, councillor Ali Dost and his brother Shah Dost S/O Suri Bugti, brothers Karim Bux and Mustafa S/O Ghulam Rasool Bugti, Sabzal Bugti, Yaqoob S/O Shah More Bugti, Abdullah Rahim, Wahid Bux S/O Deen Muhammad Bugti, cousins Meeran Baloch S/O Hussain and Sameer S/O Naimat, Ali Gul S/O Saif Deen Bugti, Niaz S/O Muskan Bugti, Naseer S/O Thara Bugti, Pir Bux S/O Jalal Bugti, Jorak S/O Jan Muhammad, Rasool Bux S/O Moosa, Kamalan Dashti, Abdul Latif S/O Babu Bangalzai, Shaukat, Imam Bux and his son Imam Deen Bugti, Samiullah S/O Muhammad Tahir, Shahzad S/O Asghar, Liaquat S/O Paro Bugti, Doctor Jamik S/O Wisho Bugti, student Malik Junaid S/O Babu Arab, Aslam Maree S/O Faiz Muhammad Maree, Abdul Khaliq S/O Jumma Maree, Liaquat Maree, Yasir S/O Najam, school teacher Muhammad Akbar, Asadullah, Fahim Baloch, Asif Murad S/O Murad Baloch, Kawish Hussain S/O Rashid Hussain, and six footballers Amir S/O Zakir Hassan, Faisal S/O Hanif Laghani, Sobeel Ahmad S/O Umer Bux, Yasir S/O Amir Bux, Shiraz S/O Dad Muhammad, and Babar S/O Dota Himani. Returned: Muhammad Ayub, disappeared in December 2021; woman Noor Khatoon and her kids; Dad Shah Baloch disappeared in August 2023, Muhammad Hassan Bangalzai disappeared in August 2023; Yousuf Baloch disappeared in January 2019; Noushad Baloch disappeared in July 2023; Jam Jabbar Baloch; Sufyan Jamaldini disappeared nine months ago; Brothers Abdul Haleem and Noor Bux S/O Muhammad disappeared a day ago; , Adeel S/O Murad Jan returned after two days (Adeel was the victim of enforced disappearance in 2019, and released after two years). Late updates on Missing Persons: Ghulam Haider S/O Karam Khan disappeared in September 2023; Qambar Baloch S/O Abdul Karim disappeared on August 12, 2023. Family, friends, and rights activists alleged security forces for enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests. Source
- September 2023: Two more dead bodies of missing persons, Utar Khan Bangalzai and Zakir S/O Rehmat were found in Quetta and Basmia, Balochistan. Families and friends alleged the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) kidnapped Utar Khan Bangalzai three weeks ago from Mastung and Zakir in June this year from Panjgur, Balochistan. Source
- September 16, 2023: Aijaz Baloch S/O Meer Ahmad disappeared from Mangchar, Balochistan, on August 24, 2023. Saeed Baloch, brother of Aijaz, said the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) Picked Aijaz on August 23, 2023, at around 2:15 a.m., and the tortured dead body was found on September 16, 2023, with another body identified as Amir Bux Zehri in Khuzdar, Balochistan. The family of Amir Bux confirmed that the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) Picked Amir Bux S/O Muhammad Alam. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) admitted the killings in an alleged encounter. Source
- September 9, 2023: Omar Ayub Khan, Secretary General of forced-dismantled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), claimed the abduction of another PTI leader, Usman Dar, from Karachi. Mr. Khan used his social media platform X, formerly Twitter, and Said, “Police are claiming he is not in their custody.”Source Later, Mr. Dar returned, criticized, and defected PTI, likewise several other leaders. PTI supporters believed he defected under extreme pressure from the authorities.
- September 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least thirty-one Baloch men during August 2023. The names of the individuals; Kashif Ajbadi S/O Qari, Saif S/O Amir Ali, Thir Baloch, Dad Shah S/O Sabar Khan, Yahya, Sher Jan S/O Amin, Faqir Baloch S/O Khuda Dost, Arif S/O Pandok, Shahzeb S/O Rahamdil, Bahar S/O Jan Mohammad, Nadeem S/O Qadir Bux, Aziz S/O Aslam, Kambar Baloch S/O Muhammad Karim, Kamran S/O Somar Khan, Nabi Bux Baloch S/O Jan Mohammad, Boxer Shoib S/O Ghulam Ali, Naheem Hasil S/O Hasil Khan, Brothers Zaheer Baloch, Pir Jan Baloch and cousin Ahmad Khan, Adil Baloch, Eijaz S/O Amir Ahmad, Naik Bakht S/O Fida Ahmad, Dada Rahim S/O Ilyas, Sajjad Ali S/O Izzat Khan, Muhammad Yousuf S/O Muhammad Bux, Meeran Khan, Rasheed S/O Habib, Muhammad Hassan, Mir Khan, Qasim Baloch and Urdu Speaking man Izhar Ahmad. Returned or Short-term Disappearances: Zarif Baloch, Fazal Yaqoob Baloch, Shams Baloch, Fayyaz Ali, Syed Abrar Shah S/O Syed Faqir Shah, Murad Baloch S/O Abdul Karim and his four sons Barkat Murad, Shaukat Murad, Babat Murad, and Ayaz Murad, a woman Noor Khatoon with her minor kids Bandi and Abdul Ghaffar, Salim Baloch, Muhammad Ayub. Family, friends, and rights activists alleged security forces for enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.
- September 1, 2023: According to Nasrullah Baloch, Chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), the Commission on Enforced Disappearances is processing over 1000 cases from Balochistan province. Since January 2023, the commission has been hearing the cases daily from the list of five thousand missing persons from Balochistan. Akhtar Mengal, the President of the Balochistan National Party and a Member of the National Assembly-led commission, has provided 1600 missing persons details to the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Contradicting the claims of Nasrullah Baloch, Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti claimed that the commission has the names of only 43 missing persons. Source HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER BACKS PM KAKAR’S STATEMENT ON 50 MISSING PERSONS FROM BALOCHISTAN
- August 30, 2023: The dead body of Ghulam Farooq S/O Muhammad Waris was found in Quetta. He disappeared from District Khuzdar on October 27, 2022.
- August 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least thirty-six Baloch men during July 2023. The names of the individuals; Abdul Waheed S/O Abdul Hameed, Salim Baloch S/O Abdul Sattar, Ikram Baloch S/O Naeem, Hikmat Ali S/O Master Barkat, Abdul Sattar Baloch, Tariq Bugti S/O Safar Khan Bugti, Jumma Bugti S/O Alladin Bugti, Roshan Bugti and his son Ahmad Ali Bugti, Azam S/O Alladad, Zahoor Ahmad S/O Jam Khan, Dad Bux S/O Ali Mohammad, Ziad S/O Sakhi Bux, Gulab S/O Jamal Baloch, Sawagul S/O Ponhal, Haseeno S/O Bakhtiar Bugti, Dedan S/O Shay Khan, Farooq S/O Murad Muhammad, Pir Bux, Muhammad Rizwan S/O Muhammad Ramzan, Shahid S/O Char Shambay, Inayatullah S/O Kohi Bugti, Usman S/O Rizo Bugti, Sajawal, Rashid S/O Jalil, Tufail, Aurangzeb S/O Bahadur Khan, Jawwad Iqbal, Zaid Baloch, Muhammad Azeem S/O Muhammad Afzal, Jabbar S/O Haji Aslam, Farooq S/O Abdullah, Noshad Baloch S/O Miandad Bajeer, Altaf, Kambar, and 70-year-old Deenar, his son was kidnapped and succumbed to torture in February 2022. Returned or Short-term Disappearances: Abdul Sattar, Zaid Baloch, and Jawwad Iqbal. June 2023: Naseer Ahmad S/O Faqeer Mummad and Asim S/O Muhammad Azam's enforced disappearance was reported late in July 2023. Family, friends, and rights activists alleged security forces for enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests. Pashtun rights activists reported at least eight enforced disappearances during July 2023. PTM Sindh coordinator Noor Ullah Tareen, Adil Shah, Yaar Muhammad, Saqib Angaar, Qismat Pashteen, Hikmat Ullah Pashteen, Nasrullah Khan Wazir, and Gilaman Pashteen were subjected to the enforced disappearances during July 2023. Muhammad Wali died in custody, and marks of brutal torture were visible on his body. However, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) claimed that Mr. Wali died of a heart attack. Sindhi Nationalists and Sindhi missing person activists reported the enforced disappearances and arrests of at least five individuals during July 2023. The names of the individuals; Akram Patafi, 14-year-old Qadeer Chandio, Rashid Sheikh, Mir Baaz Jokhio, and Abdul Khalique Khaskheli. Returned / short-term disappearance: Hans Masroor and Sahil Kumar. Family, friends, and rights activists alleged security forces for enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.
- July 1, 2023: Sindhi Nationalists and Sindhi missing person activists reported the enforced disappearances and arrests of at least thirty individuals during the past few months. The names of the individuals; Halar Chang, Asghar Bhangwar, Irfan Zuhrani, Sufi Shah Inayat, Pathan Khan Zuhrani, Insaf Dabil, Ayoub Kandhro, Mumtaz Junejo, Zafar Chandio, Kashif Nagar, Sarwaz Nohani, Suhail Raza Bhatti, Ubaid Malak, Faqir Aijaz, Alhuda Mehar, Abdul Qayyum, Suhbat Khosa, Fateh Muhammad Khosa, Shabbir Qambrani, Mohan Meghwar, Samiullah Memon, Saifullah Dero, Abdul Khaliq Khaskheli, Roshan Thakur, Soorish Sindhi, Inaam Sindhi, Mehar Debai, Shimroz Debai, Shabbir Leghar, and Sajjad Channa. Returned / short-term disappearance: Asghar Bhangwar, Abdul Khaliq Khaskheli, and Roshan Thakur. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) charged 10th-grade student Halar Chang with terrorism. Pashtun rights activists reported at least seven enforced disappearances from the different parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and the tribal belt during June 2023; Shahid Manzoor, Asghar Khan(Khaisor), Saifullah Jan s/o Mosam Khan (Gul Imam, Distt Tank ) 7th-grade Maderssah students Irfan Ullah S/O Ahmad Khan, Wali Ullah S/O Abdullah Khan (Lakki Marwat), Fazal Ur Rehman and Yaar Muhammad (North Waziristan). Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least eleven Baloch males and two females during June 2023. Mehmood S/O Shafi Muhammad, Sakhi Bux Baloch alias Sakhi Sawar, Feroz Baloch, Fateh Mayar, Muslim Arif, Yahya Baloch, Sajid Pisran, Qadir Bux, Rashid, Abdul Wahab Qalandrani, Asad Ullah, S/O Kamal Khan, Women Halima and Noor Khatoon (mother and daughter) were subjected to the enforced disappearances or arrests from different parts of Balochistan during June 2023. Returned: Javed Baloch, Kiya Ashraf, Shoib Akbar Bangalzai, Fayyaz Baloch. Short-term Disappearances: ShayMureed, Abdullah, Nasir Baloch. Family, friends, and rights activists alleged security forces for enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.
- June 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least seventeen Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan during May 2023. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Zia S/O Noor Ullah, Imran S/O Ishaq, Majid S/O Abdul Hameed, Bashir Ahmed S/O Taz Mohammad, Javed Mengal Baloch S/O Bashir, Inyat Ullah Zehri, Murtaza Zehri, Brothers Siraj and Mehran Akhtar S/O Pir Mohammad, Haseeb S/O Mohd Jan, Wasim S/O Shareef, Yaar Jan S/O Manzoor, Aziz S/O Hakeem, Ghafoor, Basit Shabbir Baloch S/O Bashir, Noman S/O Ali Hassan, and Alif Jamaldini S/O Mohammad Hanif (his brother is missing for over a year). Returned: Naseeb Baloch, Javed S/O Dost Mohammad, Sarfraz S/O Uzmat Khan, Durr Khan Marri, Amir Jan S/O Wali Khan, and Jaro Khan. Short-term missing: Eesa Laghari.
- May 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least twelve Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan during April 2023. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Ali Hassan S/O Ghulam Nabi, Sarfraz Rakhshani S/O Uzmatullah, Ahmad Nazir, Sher Zaman S/O Sarbat Khan, Shoib S/O Ali Akbar, Shehzad Baloch, Zaheer Kethran, Zia Ullah S/O Noor Ullah, Inaam S/O Ishaq, Majid S/O Abdul Hameed, Bashir Ahmad & his brother (not identified) S/O Taj Muhammad. Short-term missing: Saghir S/O Rahim Bux, Akhtar S/O Ali, Tahir Aziz S/O Aziz, Javed Zehri S/O Mir Hassan. Late updates: Addition, missing before April 2023: Rahamdil Baloch S/O Ismael Baloch (March 23, 2023). Returned: Waris S/O Musa, Habib Badini, Atiq Baloch, Wali Ullah Lahdi, Abdul Shakoor S/O Fateh Ali, Khalid S/O Muneer Ahmad, Liaqat Zehri.
- April 20, 2023: Voice of Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) reported the discovery of three dead bodies in Marwara, Balochistan. VBMP identified the bodies as Fareed Shahwani S/O Ghulam Mustafa disappeared, in August 2022 from Mastung, Balochistan, and Azeem Khan S/O Yaar Khan disappeared, on March 21, 2013, while traveling between Quetta to Harnai and Hazrat Samalani S/O Muhammad Khan disappeared in Harnai on March 23, 2023. The VMB alleged that the security forces had arrested the individuals. https://twitter.com/VBMP5/status/1649119800302665728 https://twitter.com/VBMP5/status/1649431304792952834
- April 16, 2023: Unidentified kidnappers kidnapped Dr. Fayyaz Lashari and Dr. Nabidad Bugti in Ziarat Cross, Balochistan province. Hours later, the kidnappers released Dr. Nabidad, but Mr. Lashari was still missing. Families and friends alleged the security force for the kidnapping of Dr. Fayyaz Lashari and Dr. Nabidad Bugti.https://twitter.com/aman_ullah55/status/1647529749189734400
- April 10, 2023: Mr. Jawaid Ahmad Mahar filed a police report for the missing of his brother Ayaz Mahar in Karachi under sections 34 and 365. According to the reports, Mr. Mahar is one of the highest tax-paying Pakistanis, a politician, and the owner of the Unique Group, a petroleum and Gas exploring group. Mr. Ayaz disappeared when he got out of his car on his way to his village from Karachi. His friends and sympathizers feared his arrest or enforced disappearance and launched a Twitter campaign #ReleaseAyazMahar Source
- April 5, 2023: Abdul Qayoom Gaincho, a third-year student at the Institute of Law Meetharam Hostel Building, University of Sindh Jamshoro, disappeared from Wadhu Wah Road, Qasimabad, province of Sindh. Mr. Gaincho returned after 48 hours. There are no reports of torture during his disappearance. Motive and Kidnappers:UNKNOWN
- April 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least nineteen Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan in March 2023. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Ataullah, Namb Baloch (returned), Balochistan University BS. Student Abdul Sattar Marri S/O Rab Nawaz Marri, (Bashika Khan S/O Mehran, Moulvi Ghulam Baksh S/O Dara, Laal S/O Mir Hamd, Mughal and Moran S/O Dara, teacher Javed Marri - returned after four days), sportsman Sagheer Ahmad, Sher Khan S/O Alwan Bugti, Khalid S/O Muhammad Hassan, Asif S/O Abdullah, Waris Baloch, Nawaz Shafique, Mazahir Hussain, Shah Fahad S/O Mahmood Khan, and Minhaj Mukhtar. After his return, student Abdul Sattar Marri alleged Provincial Minister Mir Naseebullah Khan Marri for the kidnapping. The minister's office did not deny or issue any statement.
- March 9, 2023: Voice of Baloch Missing Persons reported a dead body was found in Mastung, Balochistan. The efforts to identify the body turned futile, and no one claimed the corpse. In September 2022, within 24 hours, the dead bodies of three Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) were found in different parts of the Sindh province. The family and friends of the deceased Waseem Akhtar, Abid Abbasi, and Irfan Basarat Siddiqui alleged the security forces for their enforced disappearances a few years ago. The activists were affiliated with the banned faction of the MQM, led by self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain. The dead bodies have visible torture marks, and the victims of extrajudicial killing followed by kidnappings. Two decomposed corpses were found in Turbat and Quetta, in Balochistan province. The Baloch rights activists for the Enforced Disappearances believed the corpses, could be of the missing Baloch persons and demanded the government start the procedure for identifying the bodies. In August 2022, the dead body of a Sindhi nationalist, Aqib Chandio was found two months after his alleged enforced disappearance. Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have picked up Mr. Chandio twice in the past. That is an obvious case of extrajudicial killing. In June 2022, a decomposed dead body of the Baloch missing person Yasin Bugti was found near Chaman Bypass, province of Balochistan. Yasin Bugti was abducted from Quetta city in 2016. The family and friends told the media that all the people killed in the alleged encounters had been picked up by LEAs in the past.
- March 8, 2023: Unidentified armed attackers kidnapped Abid Mir, a writer, journalist, and the regional editor of Lok Sujag https://twitter.com/lok_sujag, a digital news media platform. March 10, 2023: Mr. Mir returned. Abid Mir's Statement after returning to his Twitter feed: "I, Abid Mir, am a writer, teacher, and freelance journalist from Balochistan, Pakistan. Last few days, I disappeared. The way literary figures, journalists, social media activists, human rights organizations, and national and international media outlets inside and outside Pakistan 1/ Regardless of what happened to me, enforced disappearances are a pressing and burning issue in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan. We should all unite to raise our voices against enforced disappearance and must not remain silent unless the last missing person returns home safely." https://twitter.com/AbidMir81/status/1635160390064807937 https://twitter.com/AbidMir81/status/1635160851895418880
- March 1, 2023: (February 2023) Family and friends and the activists of the Baloch missing persons reported that Saud Badini S/O Abdul Baqi, Khurram Badini S/O Abdul Samad (students), Muzammil Qambrani (poet); Qambrani returned after days, Rasheeda Zehri and Rahim Zehri (husband/ wife), Rahim’s mother and two daughters were also picked up, but released after spending two days in captivity; daughter-in-law returned after days in February 2023. Security forces kidnapped Another Balcoh woman Mahal Baloch, After a fierce backlash and countrywide protests, the counter-terrorism department (CTD) presented Mahal Baloch in court; the CTD alleged that Mahal was planning a suicide attack. Family, friends, and rights activists denied the CTD claims. http://freedomtalk.net/ found numerous legal flaws and discrepancies in the police report (first information report – FIR) dispelling the police allegations against Mahal Baloch. Returned in February 2023: Zohaib Raisani, Mohammad Riaz, and Mohammad Azam.
- February 17, 2023: Family and friends alleged security forces for the enforced disappearances of Human Rights Council of Balochistan Chairperson BIBI Gul's mother Mehnaz, four other women, Mahal, Nugrah, Nazeenk, and Banadi; all women belong to the same family. The victim's family and friends alleged that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for the attack, torture, and kidnappings. https://twitter.com/HRCBalochistan/status/1626938321917169665
- February 3, 2023: 65-year-old Bibi Khantoon, her son Rahim Zehri, daughter-in-law Rasheeda Zehri, and two grandkids aged four and one years, tortured and kidnapped from their home in Khuzdar, province of Balochistan. Bibi Khatoon and her grandkids were released after two days, while Mrs. Zehri returned home on February 14, while Mr. Zehri is still missing. On February 14, Rights activists, civil society, and members of the public protested in front of the Balochistan press club for the unjust arrest and forced disappearances. Balochistan provincial Interior Minister Zia Lango said, "the Government departments are not aware of such incident.” The kidnappers repeatedly hit Bibi Khatoon in the head before arrest. Rahim’s family and friends alleged that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) for the attack, torture, and kidnappings. https://twitter.com/BBCUrdu/status/1625665231731974145
- February 3, 2023: Unidentified assailants attacked, discharged firearms, attempted to kidnap Hafeez Baloch, and assaulted Mr. Baloch, his family, and friends outside Karachi Central Jail. Mr. Baloch and his family sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The plain cloth attackers were riding the vehicles commonly used by law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Hafeez Baloch’s family and friends alleged LEAs for the attack and attempted kidnapping. Hafeez Baloch is the victim of enforced disappearances. He was an M.Phil. student at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) and preparing for the final semester at the time of his forcible disappearance in 2022. He was arrested abroad and handed to the Pakistani authorities, who concealed his custody for a long time. He was released by a court order when the attack occurred outside Karachi Jail.https://twitter.com/VeengasJ/status/1621857792968605696
- February 1, 2023: Baloch missing person activists and Baloch rights groups reported the enforced disappearances and kidnappings of at least twelve Baloch men from different parts of Pakistan in January 2023. Family, friends, and Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the disappearances of Zohaib Raisani, Hamid S/O Bijjar, Ahmed S/O Ashraf, Babo S/O Hussain Ahmed, Raza Magsi, Abdul Khaliq Baloch S/O Ghulam Qambrani, Kiyya S/O Mohammad Ashraf, salam S/O Muhammad Azum, Khuda Rham, Naseeb-Ullah Shahwani S/O Bakhtawar Shahwani, Salam S/O Mohammad Azam, and Khuda Raheem S/O Mushki. Short-Term kidnapping: Five men returned after being subjected to the short-term kidnapping; Noor Ahmad Hasni, Shams Saleh S/O Master Saleh, Atif S/O Mohammad Fazal, Sher Khan, and Basit Baloch. Returned: Seven men returned after being missing for the past several months/ years; Suhail Baloch, Saud Naz, Yasir Bashir, Pir Jan Baloch, Siraj Noor, Arif Hamal, and Nadil Hussain.
- January 2023: Rights activists identified two tortured bodies found in Balochistan province as Waheed Zehri and Sarang Marri. The Baloch rights activists alleged security forces for the abduction and killings of the victims. The security forces did not issue any clarification.
CENSORSHIPS | BANS | FINES
- November 17, 2023: The British Deputy High Commission in Karachi removed a classical dancer, rights activist, and founder of the cultural action group Tehrik-i-Niswan, Sheema Kermani, after she shouted “Ceasefire Now.” She was attending the birthday celebration of King Charles III, with many other artists in attendance. According to the High Commission, Ms. Kirmani was shouting during “an important speech about climate change in Pakistan by the British Deputy High Commissioner; security attempted to stop her from shouting, but she left on her own.” “Ceasefire Now” emerged as a global slogan against the civilian deaths in the Gaza-Israel war. Correspondent
- November 4, 2023: Fundamentalist clerics led by Ahmed Ali, affiliated with religious-cum-political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), issued an edict to marry the females working for the non-governmental organizations (NGO), and the married members of NGO are expelled from Kohistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.Source
- Oct 2023: The Chinese-owned TikTok, a short-length video-sharing social networking platform, removed over 14 million videos in three months over violation allegations. Source
- October 1, 2023: Mayor and activists of religious-cum-political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal-ur-Rehman (JUI-F) forced stopped a women's cricket match in Swat-Charbagh, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. That was the first-ever cricket match scheduled in Swat. Edited Source
- August 30, 2023: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) banned the airing of the Geo TV drama ‘Hadsa’ (an ill-fated occurrence) over allegations of taking the idea from the unfortunate rape crime of a Pakistani-origin French woman in September 2020. The woman was raped in the presence of her children while waiting for help following her car problem. Source
- August 15, 2023: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has placed a complete ban on exit and entrance polls including those on official digital media accounts of print and electronic media outlets as well as social media influencers. SourceDawn.com
- July 7, 2023: Pakistani mainstream media blurred former Prime Minister Imran Khan's face during an unavoidable broadcast of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials and Khan. PM Khan is facing dozens of charges ranging from sedition, terrorism, and corruption. The IMF had forced the meeting as a condition to save Pakistan from official bankruptcy. Mr. Khan and his party members affiliated with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were banned from mainstream media. https://twitter.com/Riazhaq/status/1677389273559969792
- July 7, 2023: Radical clerics banned music, entertainment, and transgender from performing in weddings. In case of non-compliance, the clerics would not perform the Islamic rituals mandatory for the funerals of the whole family of the violators. The ban would deprive the Trans community of livelihood. Dancing and music are the primary means of earning for the persecuted transgender community. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F0g7FLYaEAYw6bQ?format=jpg&name=large
- May 31, 2023: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned satellite TV channels across Pakistan from broadcasting “hate mongers, perpetrators, and their facilitators.” The restrictions combined with a time-delay mechanism meant to blackout Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from the media following PTI's May 9 alleged attacks and destruction on the property of national pride.
- May 2023: The Anti-Extremism Unit and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) shut down 106 social media accounts on the pretext of malicious activities, targeting institutions, and incitement of violence, fake news, and anti-state activities. The Violent Extremism Unit (PVE) of the capital police Counterterrorism Department (CTD) has identified the accounts in the aftermaths of May 9, 2023, violence and arson allegedly by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
- May 22, 2023: The provincial Punjab Government banned TV rating agency Medialogic over allegations of “anti-state activities raising high-risk security concerns.” The noted media rating agency remained in the news for quite some time for its alleged role in manipulating ratings and evaluations of mainstream TV channels. SourcePakistan Observer
- May 15, 2023: Authorities restored Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube after a ban was imposed on May 9, 2023.
- April 10, 2023: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the coverage of bomb blasts, terrorism, and firing incidents. The ban was enforced after regrouping and the return of terrorist groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a proscribed militant group, Pakistan’s deteriorating relations with the Afghan Taliban, and increased insurgency in Balochistan. Within the first three months of 2023, 854 people have been killed in terrorism and counterterrorism operations in Pakistan.
- March 27, 2023: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) censored the live broadcast of rallies and public assemblies to bar media from the telecast of the ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan's court appearance in Islamabad. The prohibition under section 27 of the PEMRA ordinance 2002 referred to the live telecast of violent attacks on police and law enforcement agencies LEAs at the time of Mr. Khan's court appearance in Lahore drew fierce criticism after LEAs and police used excessive force against his supporters. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FsL2g3uWAAA9wVK?format=jpg&name=large https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FsL2hTKWYAAvCma?format=jpg&name=medium
- March 18, 2023: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned BOL Channel transmission for live coverage of clashes between law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters at the Judicial Complex Islamabad. PEMRA has earlier banned electronic media from airing such content. https://twitter.com/reportpemra/status/1626868248460292096
- March 18, 2023: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned coverage of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s court appearance and rallies in the judicial complex, enforcing the existing PEMRA laws. According to the letter, “PEMRA prohibits live/ recorded coverage of any kind of rally, public gathering procession by any party, organization, and individual, etc for today i.e March 18, 2023, including from the Judicial Complex Islamabad.”https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FrfFdjiXoAAFYvm?format=jpg&name=large Court reporter Saqib Bashir reported that a Session Judge had granted entry to some journalists, but the police denied the knowledge of such permission. https://twitter.com/saqibbashir156/status/1636956933134360576
- March 9, 2023: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered all satellite TV channel licensees to “refrain from telecasting any content in any manner (either recorded or produced under its banner of aired during a live speech or press talk) against state institutions.” The censorship also restricts criticism aimed at the sitting Supreme Court (SC) and High Court judges.The censorship has been promulgated under sections 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as Amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007. The orders has been issued on March 9, 2023, in a notification F.No.3(07)/2023/OPS-BM/ 4419. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fqwy22ZXgAACZUt?format=jpg&name=large https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fqwy4ICX0AA2bVi?format=jpg&name=large
- March 8, 2023: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned the coverage of protest(s) on the Mall Road Red Zone, Lahore. The letter F.No.3(07)/2023/OPS-BM/ 4418 referred to the PEMRA laws, court rulings read, “ … No Television Channel will make any coverage of the protest(s) being conducted on the Mall Road Red Zone and also notify all the channels in accordance with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment Act 2007and Electronic Media Code of Conduct, 2015.” https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FqsJPNsXgAAVljN?format=jpg&name=large The police said, they were trying to arrest ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan, while Mr. Khan was using a human shield to avoid the arrest. However, the police did not arrest Mr. Khan. A cat-and-mouse drama is going on in Pakistan for over a year. Pakistan has plunged into poverty, and lawlessness and is a country only fit for the elites and VIPs.
- March 5, 2023: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended the license of the privately-owned ARY News for airing what PEMRA called the "content in willful defiance" of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan's speeches. Over the past few months, PEMRA has intermittently banned ARY News, Imran Khan, and his supporters. The ban was imposed under section 30 of the PEMRA ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment Act 2007). Imran Khan has been sharply criticizing and alleging retired army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa for his ouster. PEMRA statement read, “airing of baseless allegations, the hateful, slanderous and unwarranted statement against state institutions and officers was in sheer violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan and a judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan passed in a Suo Moto case." https://twitter.com/Riazhaq/status/1632593521000546304 March 7, 2023: The Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered immediate restoration of ARY News.
- February 28, 2023: The Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) banned Mariam Khan and Ahmen Khawaja's short documentary My Mother’s Daughter, scheduled screening On International Women’s Day. The CBFC termed the film “unsuitable for the exhibition for the reasons that the short documentary seems more propaganda. Unauthenticated judicial procedure shown, wrong values are highlighted, which is against the Pakistani culture & society.” The filmmakers were given fifteen days to appeal. The film was about child marriage and the forced conversion of a Christian girl. The filmmakers denied the CBFC allegation of propaganda. Human rights groups in Pakistan believe that as many as 1,000 Christian, Hindu, and Sikh girls, an estimated 80% of them are teenagers kidnapped each year in Pakistan for forced conversion and marriages. Still, some independent groups claimed the numbers are underreported. The United Nations (UN) experts have written a letter to the government of Pakistan's action on coerced religious conversions and forced child marriage. Pakistan:UN experts urge action on coerced religious conversions, forced and child marriage | OHCHR https://www.instagram.com/p/CpiSAYPMAEC/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=5a82d833-3b7d-4d76-a775-7477375f5bfa
- February 1, 2023: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) degraded Wikipedia, a multilingual free online encyclopedia. The PTA said in a press release, “Wikipedia services degraded over unlawful content.” On February 7, 2023, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered the PTA to fully restore Wikipedia. The PM formed a committee to remove what he (Pakistan) believes is objectionable content.
PLIGHT OF MEDIA AND WORKERS
- October 26, 2023: Dunya newspaper published fake and misleading news targeting the Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community. The newspaper alleged that 600 Ahmadis were part of the Israeli military and bombing Palestine. The newspaper quoted the leadership of a radical organization Tehreek-e-Khatme Nabuwwat for, allegations.Source
- October 13, 2023: A senior Pakistani anchor called for death on mainstream media for the people demanding democracy.Source
- October 10, 2023: Self-proclaimed journalist and leader of a self-formed PFUJ faction caught by LESCO and booked on the alleged theft of electricity. (Edited) Source
- September 24, 2023: Dunya Media Group terminated sixty-five media workers from Dunya newspaper. Edited Source
- September 22, 2023: Privately-owned Dunya newspaper fired 90 percent of its employees from the Karachi office at once. The newspaper told the employees that the office was moving to Lahore, the Punjab province. Source
- April 22, 2023: Pakistan's largest Jang and Geo TV Network Media Group sent legal notices to at least 11 employees for protesting over a freeze on salaries for over eight years, delayed wages for months, and deprivation of other allowances, such as Gratuity and Provident Funds. The notices were sent just a day before Eid, the highest spending time for Muslims. The employees called off the strike after the management assured mutual resolution. Some employees have worked for decades. Reportedly, the owners still enjoy an opulent lifestyle with assets in many foreign countries. https://twitter.com/OfficialKUJ/status/1650861043709788160/photo/1
- March 2023: Employees and retired workers of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation – PBC (Radio Pakistan) protested for pension, timely wages, and retirement benefits for months. A poorly managed PBC has been facing delayed wages, pensions to 300 employees, and post-job dues for years. The PBC has rented out its prime properties at a cheaper value than the current market price. Since 2018, PCB has been laying off workers without timely payment. A subcommittee of the Senate Standing Committee on Information has taken up the issue, but the officialdom and Pakistan's economic meltdown obstruct a quick fix.
- March 17, 2023: Civil society, journalists, advocacy groups, and media organizations joined the protests in front of the office of Jang group at Al-Rahman Building I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi. The reporters and newsroom staff of Pakistan's largest media house, Jang Group of Newspapers, protested over the non-payment of wages for months. The group also owns Geo News and Geo TV Network. According to Mudassar Saeed, Journalist and Senior Executive Producer at North Geo News, the employees demand 1: Overdue increments amidst inflation 2: Salaries on Time 3: Provident Fund 4: Gratuity. https://twitter.com/mudsays/status/1635980104898682882 https://twitter.com/mudsays/status/1636024526172553217
- January 2023: Civil society, journalist advocacy groups, and organizations joined the protests organized by the reporters of Pakistan's largest media house, Jang Group of Newspapers, over the non-payment of wages for the last three months. The group also owns Geo News and Geo TV Network.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION UNDER ATTACK ON CAMPUSES
- November 17, 2023: Three students and four policemen were injured in a fight between the police and the students at the Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water, and Marine Sciences in Lasbela, Balochistan. The university’s administration forced the students to vacate the hostels and closed the university for an unspecified period. The students protested for a few days over the cancellation of the study tours and non-availability of the medicines at the university’s clinics. The university called the police when the students closed the main gate of the university barring the entries and exits. The exchange of the stones and the teargas caused non-life-threatening injuries. The students claimed the arrests of over three dozen students. Correspondent
- September 26, 2023: IBA University Sukkur barred students from doing Freelancing. Source The students in Pakistan are struggling to pay for educational and transportation costs amid record inflation. The World Bank has revealed that poverty in Pakistan surged to 39.4 percent during the last fiscal year, with an additional 12.5 million people slipping into poverty due to poor economic conditions.Source
- July 12, 2023: The Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad threatened the students with fines, expulsion, cancellation of hostel accommodation, and withdrawal of financial benefits and ordered the students to appear in person with the written response for allegedly planning and celebrating Hindu festival Holi, at the university. The university called Holi unpleasant and uncomfortable in a show-cause notice No. DSA/UDC/2023/3252 dated July 12, 2023.https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F09_5X1aQAMaO78?format=jpg&name=medium
- July 5, 2023: Prof. Dr. Samreen Hussain, the Vice Chancellor of Dawood University of Engineering and Technology (DEUT), canceled the admissions of twelve students and banned them from entering the DEUT over allegations of misconduct and wrongdoings during her address at the university’s auditorium. Contrary to the DEUT allegations, Progressive Students Federation (PRSF-Karachi) claimed the students were protesting against a fee increase.https://twitter.com/PrsfK/status/1676657592167444480
- June 6, 2023: Karakoram International University (KIU) in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) banned making TikTok clips and sitting in couples at various corners within KIU premises. The KIU warned the students with expulsion and a police report (known as the first information report – FIR) for non-compliance. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fx7LFBGaUAcyMJk?format=jpg&name=large
- May 19, 2023: “Sindh Education Department has banned objectionable material in O level syllabus, says in media reports. According to the Additional Director of the Sindh Education Department, Rafia Javed said the province has barred schools from imparting an objectionable chapter of Same-Sex Families in the Sociology book of O level to students.” SourceThe Nation
- May 5, 2023: Federal education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain informed the seizure of the O-level textbooks over allegations of “promoting objectionable content.” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Senators Mohsin Aziz and Faisal Saleem Rahman had raised the objection in Senate over a controversial chapter of ‘Same Sex Family.’ SourceDaily Times
- April 6, 2023: Global Village Space (GVS), a digital media platform, reported that “the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University bans female students from wearing jeans and tights on campus.” (SBBWU) imposed the ban on the pretext of Modest Dress Code and warned the violators a fine of RS.1000, Peshawar, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. https://www.globalvillagespace.com/kp-university-bans-jeans-tights-on-campus/
- April 5, 2023: The office of the Deputy Director (Colleges) banned all the public and educational institutions' libraries from obtaining the new translation of the Muslim Holy Book prepared by the Muslim minority Qadinai/ Ahmadi community in three Tehsils (subdivisions) of the Punjab province. Order No: 255 / DDC (1), dated April 5, 2023, has been enforced in Chiniot, Lalian, and Bhowana subdivisions. The authorities did not support the ban with any evidence or explanations. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fs85XQPWYAAwsko?format=jpg&name=large
- March 27, 2023: The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan advised all Pakistani universities/ Degree Awarding Institutes (DAIs) to incorporate a course on the Muslim Holy Book translation, tajveed, and Tafseer mandatory for the undergraduate degree programs from fall 2023. Letter reference: HEC/CURR/SR-533/2023/4520 March 27, 2023. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fs3XHqYXgAU9laR?format=jpg&name=medium
- March 6, 2023: Affiliates of Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) and university guards attacked the participants of the Holi (a Hindu festival), and injured at least 15 students at the University of Punjab's new campus in Lahore. The IJT started threatening the students after the Holi invitation was circulated in the university. According to the Holi organizers, the university had allowed the event. The university denied the incident of violence and injuries. However, UoP admitted the attackers were religious fundamentalists who came from the other province to vilify the university. The injuries of the students are not life-threatening. JIT holds the opinions of the Religious Far-Right. https://twitter.com/Xadeejournalist/status/1633078958412505090 https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=173714358785283
- March 6, 2023: Just weeks apart, Saqlain Bangash, a security officer, was killed on Peshawar University Campus, and lecturer Bashir Ahmed at Islamia College Peshawar. The police arrested the suspect and termed Mr. Bangash's killing a mistake by his fellow security officer. According to the police, the killing of Mr. Ahmed ensued from intermittent arguments between the victim and the suspect. Peshawar University is a heavily guarded property with a massive presence of security forces. Senses of insecurity and uncertainty have gripped the staff and the students. The administration, staff, and students remain in constant fear in the university and call for the mental assessment of the security staff. April 2, 2023: students demand the resumption of classes after a continuous suspension of educational activities on campus. Students feared missing the examinations and the academic year.
- February 27, 2023: Authorities deployed heavy contingents of paramilitary troops, anti-terrorism squads, and police at the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad after fierce clashes among student groups of different ethnicities that left many students injured. Authorities arrested and booked several students and forced the female occupants of the dormitory in the middle of the night without relocating arrangements.
- February 24, 2023: The Directorate General of Elementary and Secondary Education of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir (tauntingly called Azad Jammu and Kashmir -AJK), made hijab mandatory for all female students and staff. The AJK minister Deevan Ali Khan Chughtai told Dawn.com, “We have done it exactly in observance of the injunctions of God and His Messenger (peace be upon him) […] The women have been ordained to wear veils and men have been ordained to lower their gaze,”
TARGETING RIGHTS MOVEMENTS AND PROTESTERS
- November 4, 2023: The police booked political activists of the Awami National Party (ANP) and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) under Sections 147, 149, 188, 341 and loudspeaker amplifies ordinance of the province Balochistan regulation and control 1965 for protesting the forced eviction and inhumane treatment of Afghan refugees. The police report (known as the first information report – FIR), charged Ahmad Jan Lala, Nasrullah Zerai, Yousuf Khan Kakar, Asghar Khan Achakzai, Haji Nasruddin Kakar, Naseer Ahmad, Mabat Kaka, Rahmat Ghar Sunai, Ahmad Jan and 300 unknown individuals.Source
- November 2023: Security forces have besieged Parachinar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, and a bordering city with Afghanistan following armed sectarian clashes that ensued from long-standing land disputes. The violence has killed at least 23 people, and the residents are imprisoned in their houses due to siege and fear. Patients, students, and traders have expressed frustration over the prolonged ordeal and the administration’s inability to maintain law and order. Violent groups armed with missiles and ammunitions have stopped food and medicine into Parachinar and seemingly gained full control of the area. It’s been over a week since Parachinar has been disconnected from the rest of the country. The Shia residents of Parachinar claimed that the Taliban attacked them from Afghanistan. Correspondent
- October 25, 2023: Thousands of the residents of Chaman protested against the new rules of passports for crossing the border into Afghanistan. The residents appealed to the government of Pakistan to continue to accept the national identity and tribal cards for travel to meet families, and relatives and feed livestock. Chaman is a city and the headquarters of the Chaman District in Balochistan, Pakistan. Chaman is located in close proximity to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and the residents and their families live on both sides of the border, in the mountainous terrain. Source Authorities detained Maulana Hidayatur Rehman Baloch, the chief of Haq Do Tehreek (HDT), and banned him, Parliamentarian Mohsin Dawar, and activists of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) from entering Chaman to join the sit-in.
- October 24, 2023: Islamabad police forced the participants, including former Senator Afrasiab Khattak, affiliated with the National Democratic Movement (NDM); journalist Sajjad Azhar; Hassan Khan, Director Khyber TV; and Haji Riaz Muhammad, Afghan community representative from a dialogue on the mass Afghan refugees deportation from Pakistan. Think tank ‘Black Hole’ had organized the dialogues titled ‘The Unseen Crisis: Afghan Refugees Facing Deportation,’ in Islamabad. Pakistan has started to deport Afghan refugees living without government-issued documents. However, there are verified reports that hundreds of Afghan nationals legally in Pakistan are also being arrested, intimidated, and deported. The United Nations (UN) and other human rights organizations have urged Pakistan to stop deportations.https://twitter.com/AzazSyed/status/1716830772211114318 https://twitter.com/Sajjadazhar99/status/1716846921145262473 An estimated 3.7 million Afghan citizens are living in Pakistan. Pakistan is not the signatory of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1967 Protocol and protection of refugees, nor has established procedures to determine the refugee status of the persons seeking international protection within its territory.
- October 16, 2023: Peshawar police arrested Hayat Roghaani, a peace activist and artist, over organizing a seminar in Peshawar Press Club, demanding fair treatment for Afghan artists living in Pakistan. Mr. Roghaani is the founder and Director of Mafkoora, an organization promoting education, literature, and theatre. The police arrested Mr. Roghaani in front of the Peshawar Press Club in Peshawar, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Source Source
- October 12, 2023: The police thrashed and arrested at least 91 protesting teachers, staffers, and members of the Government Employees Grand Alliance (AGEGA) across Punjab province for protesting against changes in pension rules, demanding equitable pay and benefits. AGEGA had called for a province-wide strike to press the government. Source The police released all the detainees after two weeks.
- October 9, 2023: The police arrested Noorullah Tareen, Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) Sindh province coordinator, under Section 3 of the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance (MPO) 1960, in Karachi, Sindh. Authorities alleged that “Tareen was spreading hatred and miscreation.” Mr. Tareen is to stay in jail for 30 days under MPO. PTM claims the representation of the rights of those affected by the war against militancy and what PTM believes oppressions of the armed forces in the tribal areas.Source
- September 16, 2023: Rawalpindi city police booked rights activist Dr. Farzana Bari, Farman Ali, and Rizwan, affiliated with Left Democratic Front (LDF), Ayub Malik, National Party Punjab; Akhtar Hussain, Awami Party; Fahim Zulfiqar, Mazadoor Kissan Party; Abbas Shah, Pakistan Mazdoor Muhaz; Nisar Shah, Jammu Kashmir Awami Party; Muhammad Bashir Raja, United Kashmir Peoples National Party and Fatima Shahzad, Labour Qumi Party, under sections 505 and 341. The police alleged the accused for sloganeering against the armed forces and the judiciary of Pakistan. The activists were protesting against skyrocketing inflation. Source
- September 2023: Pakistan started a discriminatory drive against the Afghan Nationals living with legitimate status in Pakistan and arrested thousands of Afghanis holding the refugee Proof of Registration Card (PoR). The majority of the Afghan nationals arrested included minor children, women, and seniors living in Pakistan for decades. The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) exploited the situation and jailed Afghanis with required paperwork, minors, and women either born in Pakistan or living for decades. Vigilantes in Sindh province took the law into their own hands and went door-to-door searching for the Afghan Nationals. More than 150 Afghan musicians and artists pleaded with the Pakistani authorities and filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) against forced eviction as the Taliban has forbidden singing, music, dance, and instruments playing. Pakistan had turned down appeals from international groups campaigning for refugee rights. Pakistan has not shown compassion towards persecuted Shia-Hazara community and rejected the appeals from kids; their deportation to Afghanistan is akin to sending them to slaughterhouse. Afghan Hazaras equate expulsion to ‘going to graveyard to be buried. The Registrar of the Supreme Court returned a petition filed against the decision of the Apex Committee to deport Afghan Refugees stating that the petition does not raise any issue of fundamental rights. Source The arrests of Afghan refugees have been reported from across the country. The crackdown on Afghan refugees started after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attack on security forces in Chitral, a bordering city with Afghanistan. Pakistan has confirmed the killings of 12 militants and four soldiers. Pakistan is not a signatory of the 1951 Geneva Convention and its 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees. https://twitter.com/arbaz_jour/status/1702039051828707436 https://twitter.com/bashirgwakh/status/1702606372917969147 https://twitter.com/Chiltan/status/1702724872508678188 https://twitter.com/Inamkhattakpak/status/1710539323781644557
- August 11, 2023: Islamabad police baton charged and misbehaved with the peaceful participants of Minorities’ Alliance Pakistan (MAP) and the members of the civil society in Islamabad. The MAP was marking National Minorities Day, celebrated on August 11. MAP has been advocating for increased representation in the parliament and repealing the Constitution Articles 41 and 91. The said articles deprive the religious and Muslim minority Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi) community of the president and prime minister of Pakistan. The Islamabad police alleged the participants attempted to enter the Blue Area, an area crowded with elites. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION / FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY
- July 10, 2023: Authorities arrested a senior citizen Aftab Baqai, affiliated with the Muttahida Quami Movement, London-based Altaf faction (MQM-L), from his home in Karachi. The police booked the former (MQM-L) advisory council in charge under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), after (MQM-L) organized a rally in the Korangi area a day before. However, (MQM-L) claimed Mr. Baqai did not participate in the rally. Mr. Baqai had challenged the ban on media coverage of his party leader Altaf Hussain. (MQM-L). Lawmaker Nisar Panhwar spent forty-two days in jail last year for challenging the same in court. MPO was promulgated on December 2, 1960, during the military dictatorship of General Ayub Khan. https://twitter.com/AltafHussain_90/status/1678845692805095424 Mr. Hussain remained kingmaker for three decades, and his party Muhajir Qumi Movement (MQM) ruled the largest city of Pakistan, Karachi; however, his party abused the public support and profit from racketeering, extortion, and brutally killed party turncoats and opponents. He challenged the status quo and sent the middle class into the parliament; however, he changed his party from the Muhajir Movement to the Muttahida (united) movement. During his heydays, political leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif sought Mr. Hussain's help to form the Federal Government and succeeded. Mr. Hussain now faces sedition charges and a media black-out in Pakistan. In 1992, the para-military forces attacked MQM, killed the activists in extra-judicial killings, thousands were thrown in jails, and offices bulldozed. According to MQM, more than 18,000 workers were killed extrajudicially. Mr. Hussain and his followers are the descendants of the migrants who immigrated to Pakistan in 1947 after the British retreat from India and Pakistan.
- July 10, 2023: The police arrested 28 and booked over 90 supporters of the Muttahida Quami Movement, London-based Altaf faction (MQM-L). Mr. Hussain's supporters rallied in favor of the self-exiled leader Altaf Hussain in Korangi, a subdivision or town within Karachi. The police booked the supporters for rioting and interfering with traffic. Mr. Hussain is wanted in a number of cases including sedition and terrorism in Pakistan, and banned on Pakistani media. The MQM-L termed the cases politically motivated.
- April 28, 2023: Islamabad police attacked, arrested, and maltreated Ismat Raza Shahjahan, her husband Professor Shahjahan, her young son, and protesters for protesting against the demolitions of non-regularized settlements in the limits of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). She got bruised and scratched on her hands. Ms. Shahjahan, a political worker affiliated with the Women's Democratic Front (WDF) and Awami Workers Party (AWP) werearrested along with at least forty protesters. The police released Ms. Shahjahan and Professor Shahjahan after several hours, but their son and other protesters were in custody until they filed this report. https://twitter.com/BThalho/status/1652691093614370819?s=20 https://twitter.com/AreebaFatimaa/status/1652613469688983552?s=20
- March 27, 2026: A large number of women protested for the release of Haq Do Tehreek –HDT (give rights movement)leader Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman. The police arrested Mr. Rehman and three comrades in February 2023 from a court where they went for a bail hearing over allegations of killing a police constable in November 2022. The police alleged that Mr. Rehman incited violence and killing. Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langove ordered the arrest. The HDT is demanding the reduction of the checkpoints in the heavily guarded Gwadar, a deep seaport created with the Chinese partnership under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). According to the local people of Gwadar, the fishermen are not catching enough fish and feeding their families because China’s advanced technology-equipped deep-sea fishing trawlers plucked all the fish from the sea, the local people are not getting enough share in the jobs and have to show identifications on many checkpoints. March 24, 2023: a local court revoked the bail of six HDT activists, councilor Haji Javed, councilor Naveed Muhammad, councilor Naseer Shahzada, Chairman Allah Bux, Abid GM, Moulana Liaquat Baloch, and arrested them from a court premise.https://twitter.com/MHidayatRehman/status/1639572816067526659 April 18, 2023: At the bail hearing, Maulana Hidayat Ur Rehman named military General Asif Ghafoor and Akhtar Mengal behind his arrest, refused to apologize, and reiterated to continue to struggle for fishermen and Gwadar's rights. Again, the court denied him bail. According to the journalist Israr Ahmed, Mr. Rehman is a peaceful activist whose bail has been refused from the local courts to the Balochistan High Court. One of his cases is decades old and registered during Pervez Musharraf, a deceased military general and politician who became the tenth president of Pakistan. https://twitter.com/IsrarAhmedPK/status/1648362731685449728 https://twitter.com/MHidayatRehman/status/1648385132460638209 May 18, 2023: The Supreme Court of Pakistan granted bail to Maulana Hidayatur Rehman. The jail authorities denied receiving release orders from the Supreme Court and did not free Mr. Rehman. https://twitter.com/HamidMirPAK/status/1660585872209903616?s=20 May 22, 2023: Maulana Hidayatur Rehman release from jail.
- March 8, 2023: A fierce fight broke out between the participants of the Aurat March and the police in Islamabad and Lahore. In Islamabad, the police used batons and excessive force to disrupt the participants of the Aurat Azadi (women's freedom) March. According to some reports, the clashes started after the police objected to the inclusion of the transgender community in Azadi March. Pakistan religious fundamentalists are intolerant towards Aurat March, and the succeeding governments in Pakistan have a history of surrendering to their demands.
- March 3, 2023: Local administrations of Islamabad, Lahore, and Multan cities banned public rallies on International Women's Day on March 8, 2023. The protests have been organized by the Aurat March organizers. The city officials denied the rally on the pretext of what the administration believed were controversial placards and sloganeering. The provincial government of the Punjab province imposed Section 144 (Section 144 prohibits all kinds of corner meetings, jalsa, public gatherings, and congregations in the areas) to stop Aurat March. Later, the administration withdrew section 144.
- July 1, 2023: According to the South Asian Terrorism Portal, twenty-one men belonging to the security forces and the law enforcement agencies LEAs were martyred either fighting the terrorists or ambushed by them during June 2023.
- May 1, 2003: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) termed blind, deaf, and dumb, aimed at the incumbent, “derogatory.” After the careful review and language of HRCP social media threads, http://www.freedomtalk.net/ observed HRCP's political impartiality is compromising and biased.https://twitter.com/HRCP87/status/1653002679885393920?s=20Pakistan is going through the worst inflation, political crisis, and an ugly power war among politicians, judiciary, and establishment. Poverty, unemployment, street crimes, terrorism, and social injustice is prevailing. The unheard and crushed people use Freedom of Expression to vent anger and deprivation.
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