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I will do my utmost to secure the release of the Hunza Five – Asma Jehangir

June 18, 2012
Declares: “Putting political activists on trial under the Anti-Terrorism Act is unacceptable.”

Lahore, 18-Jun-2012: Renowned lawyer and former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Asma Jehangir, has declared that putting political activists on trial under the Anti-Terrorism Act is simply not acceptable. She has promised to do her utmost to secure the release of Baba Jan and his comrades. She made these observations yesterday (Sunday, 17th June, 2012) during a meeting at her residence with a delegation from Labour Party Pakistan composed of Federal Committee member Farooq Tariq and Lahore unit members active in the Hunza Five campaign, Sher Ali and Amanullah Kariapper.

Jehangir promised to look into the possibility of challenging the selective and highly skewed application of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which has resulted in the current scenario where leaders of officially banned terrorist outfits conduct public rallies in front of Lahore Press Club while non-violent political activists and trade unionists are charged with, and even convicted of[1], terrorism.

The fearless human rights campaigner further promised to take up the matter with the concerned authorities at the highest levels in order to have the false charges of terrorism registered against the Hunza Five rescinded. Let us recall that the Hunza Five are being punished for their support of the campaign for just compensation for the affectees of the Atabad Lake disaster.

The Labour Party delegation informed Jehangir that a global campaign for the release of Baba Jan had been initiated: in the week from the 20th to the 26th of June, supporters of the cause in twenty countries will protest in front of Pakistani diplomatic missions in order to press home their basic demands for justice and for the release of comrades Rashid Minhas, Amir Ali, Iftikhar Hussain, Ameer Khan and Baba Jan. The following week, the campaign will organise protests and solidarity events (e.g., teach-ins, seminars, street theatre) across the country, culminating in a massive rally from Aabpara Chowk to the Parliament in Islamabad on the 4th of July, 2012.

Jehangir reiterated that she will challenge the filing of false cases against the political activists of Hunza and will bring pressure to bear in order to secure their release.

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