The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has barred police from arresting lawyer and human rights activist Imaan Zainab Mazari on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy after she along with MNA Mohsin Dawar and others was booked for the same over participation in a Baloch students’ protest in Islamabad earlier this week.
Imaan Mazari, along with MNA Mohsin Dawar, had been booked on sedition charges by Islamabad police on Thursday. The two had joined Baloch students who were protesting for the safe return of disappeared M.Phil student Hafeez Baloch.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah affirmed at a hearing on Friday that he would not allow anyone to be harassed over criticism, while hearing a petition filed by Imaan to un-seal the first information report (FIR) against her.
“We will not let this happen […] the students of Balochistan should be heard,” he said, and directed police to provide of copy of the FIR to Imaan.
Imaan’s lawyer indicated that during the protest, police attacked the protestors and several students and police personnel were injured. The lawyer further urged the court to look into the matter of missing Baloch students.
The Baloch students had gathered outside the National Press Club in Islamabad to protest the harassment and profiling of Baloch students and the ‘prevalent culture of fear’ at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad. The students reported multiple instances of harassment and interrogation by an individual who they identified as ‘Major Murtaza’.
Imaan Marzi is also the daughter of Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari.