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South Asia: Human rights and feminist organisations rise in defence of activists in Pakistan

Monday 3 June 2019, by siawi3


South Asians for Human Rights Network expresses solidarity with the activists of PTM in Pakistan

Friday 31 May 2019,


South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a regional network of human rights defenders, condemns the use of live ammunition by the Pakistan army against activists of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) in North Waziristan.

SAHR has learnt that the Pakistan security forces opened fire on several hundred people, including two Parliament members, who were protesting for the rights of Pakistan’s Pashtuns in the North Waziristan region on Sunday near the border of Afghanistan. The action by the security forces has led to the killing of 3 protestors and arrest of many members of the PTM.

PTM is known as a peaceful movement that has been demanding the fundamental rights of Pashtuns, a minority in Pakistan. The two lawmakers - Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir - were among the founders of the PTM civil rights group and were arrested by the army during the protest.

SAHR calls upon the government of Pakistan to conduct an effective and independent investigation over the reported killing of the activists. SAHR urges the relevant authorities to respect the fundamental human rights of the people in Waziristan including the recognition of their genuine demands that are within the parameter of rights guaranteed under the Constitution. We call on the Pakistan government to immediately release Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, the elected representatives of the people of Waziristan, and other protesters arrested at the protest site.

On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights,

31 May 2019

Sultana Kamal

Mohamed Latheef



Joint Statement of Solidarity with PTM by Feminist Groups across Pakistan

Saturday 1 June 2019,
by Girls at Dhabas, The Feminist Collective, Women Democratic Front, Women’s Action Forum, Women’s Collective

We, as feminists who uphold the peaceful resolution of conflict, stand in solidarity with the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) in their struggle for fundamental rights. We condemn the violence that took place on May 26th in the Khar Qamar area of North Waziristan in which 13 civilians were allegedly killed and 46 were injured as a result of army firing. According to the testimonies of eyewitnesses and video footage released on social media, the protesters were unarmed and were peacefully protesting the illegal detention of local residents.

Following this event, Ali Wazir, an elected MNA, was arrested under charges of terrorism. There are also rumours that he has been tortured while in detention. Furthermore, Mohsin Dawar was arrested on May 30th and also charged with terrorism.

Since this time, a curfew has been imposed in Waziristan, which has led to food and medicine shortages, thus putting local residents’ lives at risk. This is a form of collective punishment. Before this, prominent human rights activist Gulalai Ismail’s home was raided and an FIR was lodged against her also on terrorism charges on May 23rd.

We believe all three are innocent and have only been exercising their democratic right to peaceful protest in accordance with the Constitution.

Following this wave of violence and repression, we as feminists demand that:

1. A Senate commission is constituted to investigate the massacre at the Khar Qamar checkpoint so that those responsible can be held accountable and punished.

2. Lift the curfew in Waziristan so that people can have access to food and medicines.

3. Hand all control of all administration, including law enforcement, in former-FATA to civilians in accordance with the 25th amendment.

4. Release Ali Wazir and all protestors arrested with him and drop all charges against them.

5. Release Mohsin Dawar and drop all charges against him.

6. Drop the FIRs lodged against Gulalai Ismail.

7. Hold free and fair trials of all persons arrested in the former-FATA before civilian courts.

8. Allow the media and human rights observers access in Waziristan in order for events to be covered impartially.

9. Lift the unofficial media blackout on the PTM at the national level.

As feminists, we support the PTM’s democratic right to non-violent protest, and we oppose all forms of violence and repression against them and the residents of Waziristan.

Signed by

- The Feminist Collective
- Women Democratic Front
- Girls at Dhabas
- Women’s Collective
- Women’s Action Forum (Lahore)
- Women’s Action Forum (Peshawar)
- Women’s Action Forum (Islamabad)
- Women’s Action Forum (Quetta)
- Women’s Action Forum (Hyderabad)
- Women’s Action Forum (Karachi)