Islamabad police have withdrawn the sedition case registered against 200 Baloch students and advocate Imaan Mazari for protesting against enforced disappearances in Islamabad earlier this month.
At a hearing on Monday, Deputy Attorney General Syed Muhammad Tayyab Shah informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah that police had withdrawn the case.
IHC CJ Athar Minallah had earlier issued a strongly worded court order asserting that the Baloch students should not be silenced, and even went as far as to suggest that Prime Minister Imran Khan should have visited the protesting students directly.
“Raising slogans, no matter how harsh, by no stretch of the imagination, can be treated as a criminal conspiracy or an offence. The offences mentioned in the FIR [First Information Report] also show that, prima facie, an attempt has been made to create a chilling effect to discourage dissent and expressing grievances stemming from the acts or inaction of the state,” the order read.
Now in its 20th day, the students have staged a sit-in demanding the release of missing M.Phil student Hafeez Baloch, who disappeared form his hometown in Khuzdar, Balochistan in February.
Activist Imaan Mazari, the daughter of Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, along with MNA Mohsin Dawar, had been booked on sedition charges by Islamabad police after the two joined the protest, although the IHC ordered police not to arrest them.