Islamabad police granted 3-day physical remand of Imaan Mazari, Ali Wazir in sedition case

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PTM leader Ali Wazir and human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari photographed after their arrests on August 20, 2023. — AFP
PTM leader Ali Wazir and human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari photographed after their arrests on August 20, 2023. — AFP
  • Cases registered after a controversial speech at recent PTM rally.
  • Islamabad police arrested Imaan, Wazir in wee hours of Sunday.
  • “Why has no evidence been brought against Imaan yet?” asks lawyer.

ISLAMABAD: Judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain of an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Monday handed Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir and human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari into police custody on a three-day physical remand.

The prosecution had sought a 10-day physical remand of the suspects in a case pertaining to sedition, intimidation, and inciting people.

The cases against them were registered after they delivered a controversial speech at a recent PTM’s public rally in the federal capital.

Subsequently, the Islamabad police had arrested Imaan and Wazir in the wee hours of Sunday and secured their remand from a local court in Islamabad the same day.

They were produced in the anti-terrorism court of Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain in the federal capital earlier today.

‘Imaan goes on hunger strike’

On arrival at the Islamabad Judicial Complex, Imaan hugged her mother Shireen Mazari while Wazir was brought to the court with his face covered.

“I have gone on hunger strike,” Imaan told her mother, adding that no one asked her any questions during the investigation.

During the hearing, Imaan’s lawyer told the bench that she has been remanded into police custody for a day.

“The police have not recovered anything yet,” the lawyer said.

He contended that the human rights lawyer presented no risk of escape.

“She is here,” the lawyer argued. He further added that Imaan’s mobile phone and laptop were taken by the police.

“The question is why no evidence has been brought against Imaan Mazari yet? Why hasn’t a photogrammatic test or voice matching test been conducted yet?”

Imaan Mazari’s speech is on social media, laptop, mobile are also with police, the lawyer said.

“Two similar cases have been registered against Imaan Mazari. She is accused of benefiting anti-national elements with her speech,” the lawyer said.

“What will be gained by keeping Imaan Mazari in custody? It is not necessary for Imaan Mazari to remain in police custody. There are more than 900 named accused with Imaan.”

He remarked: “They want to declare Imaan Mazari as terrorist, but the police are forgetting that they also have mothers and sisters at home.”

Moreover, Imaan’s legal team sought permission from the ATC to meet its client saying that she had fainted yesterday, and they could not meet her at the police station.

‘Nothing wrong’

When Wazir took the rostrum, he said: “We want to convey our message to Islamabad. Nothing wrong was said in the rally.”

At one point, Wazir, who is a former member of the National Assembly referred to the judge as “Mr Speaker”.

At the end of the hearing, he reserved his judgment on the prosecution’s request for a 10-day remand and later announced that both Wazir and Imaan would be remanded into police custody for three days.

‘Life in danger’

Speaking to media personnel after the hearing, Imaan’s mother, former human rights minister, Shireen Mazari, said that Imaan fainted while she was whisked away by the police in a van.

“Despite being unconscious, she was not allowed to see a doctor,” Mazari said.

She added that Imaan had refused to eat in protest.

“The enemy wants something bad to happen to my daughter,” Mazari claimed.

She further said that Imaan is a human rights lawyer and her life is in danger in jail.

Reassuring the bench, she said that Imaan would come to appearances and that given its respect for human rights, the court should release Imaan.



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