August 25, 2023

By Maryam Missal


Human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari-Hazir’s scheduled bail hearing today in an Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) was delayed by another two days due to the absence of the presiding judge. No other duty judge was reportedly availability to oversee proceedings.

She and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir were arrested for allegedly making controvertial speeches against state institutions during a PTM rally. Mazari-Hazir were forcibly taken sans warrant from her residence by police officials along with plainclothes men in masks during the early hours of August 20. Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir was also arrested around the same time.

Four days later, on Thursday, Mazari-Hazir and Wazir were sent to Adiala Jail on a two-week judicial remand. On Friday, they were brought before ATC Judge Abdul Hasnat Zulqarnain for their bail hearing, which was later fixed for Saturdaday (today).

However, when Imaan’s legal team and family appeared at the ATC, they were told that the ATC judge was on leave and no other duty judge was available to preside over the case.

The administrative judge clarified his jurisdiction limitations and conveyed his inability to address the bail application. As a result, the bail hearing has been rescheduled for Monday, August 28.

As the legal proceedings unfold, supporters and observers remain attentive to the unfolding developments in the rights lawyer’s case.

Civil Rights Attorney Asad Jamal voiced his concerns on the matter through X (formerly known as Twitter) labelling it as a failure of justice provision.

Other human rights advocates also raised their voices against the delayed bail plea hearing for Imaan Mazari-Hazir.

On August 19, both Imaan and Wazir were booked in two First Information Reports (FIR) at the Tarnol police station and the Counter-Terrorism Department after a PTM rally in the federal capital. Charges included sedition, obstruction of government officials’ duties and damage to public property.


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