Pakistan arrests rights activist Gulalai Ismail: Report

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Islamabad, Feb 6 (IANS) Pakistan’s rights activist Gulalai Ismail has been arrested by the police here, the media reported on Wednesday citing her father.

According to the activist’s father Professor Muhammad Ismail, she was picked up from outside the National Press Club here on Tuesday while she was taking part in a protest against the controversial death of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Arman Loni, Dawn.com reported.

The PTM is a rights-based alliance that, besides calling for the de-mining of the former tribal areas and greater freedom of movement in the latter, insists on an end to the practices of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, unlawful detentions, and for their practitioners to be held to account.

The police initially shifted Gulalai to the G9 Women’s Police Station, Ismail told Dawn.com. He said that after a few hours of the arrest, his daughter was shifted to an unknown location.

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“We are trying to trace her whereabouts but the police are not ready to share Gulalai’s location,” he said, adding that so far no FIR of the arrest has been registered.

In October last year, Gulalai was detained by airport officials in Islamabad following her return from London. She was later released on bail but her passport was withheld by airport officials.

The detention had been in connection with an FIR that the police had registered in August last year against 19 PTM leaders, including Gulalai, for their involvement in a public gathering in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Swabi district where the rights-based alliance’s Manzoor Pashteen and Gulalai both addressed the crowd.

Gulalai, a Pashtun and women’s rights activist, was in 2017 awarded the “Reach all Women in War” Anna Politovskaya Award.

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–IANS

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