Mazari writes to UN about blasphemy laws being ‘used against’ PTI leaders

Mazari writes to UN about blasphemy laws being ‘used against’ PTI leaders

May 4, 2022 0

What happened:

In a letter penned to special UN rapporteurs, dated 2 May, former human rights minister Shireen Mazari has requested for their intervention to stop the Pakistani government’s “misuse of the blasphemy law” against Imran Khan and other PTI leaders.

Details:

The letter is addressed to officials in extrajudicial executions on freedom of opinion and expression. It said that Pakistan is engaged in a political crisis since the Imran Khan-led government was deposed in the midst of a “regime change scheme” and replaced by Shehbaz Sharif, who had been accused in “several money-laundering and corruption charges and is out on bail.” 

The letter:

According to the letter, the cypher communication showed the United States’ displeasure with Imran’s journey to Russia just as the Ukrainian military conflict was about to commence. It went on to say that if Imran’s no-trust motion was successful, “everything will be forgiven.” The events that followed, according to Mazari, included the submission of a no-confidence motion, the rejection of the motion by the National Assembly’s deputy speaker, and the intervention of the Supreme Court in the matter, which ultimately culminated in Imran’s removal.

Mazari’s take on the Madina incident:

The registration of blasphemy complaints against Imran and PTI leaders in connection with the Masjid-e-Nabwi incident, in which Shehbaz Sharif and his federal ministers were heckled by a crowd of Pakistani pilgrims, was the second infringement cited by Mazari.

She claimed that it was not a planned incident because similar treatment of opposition members had occurred in other regions as well. “Using the Madina incident as a basis to file blasphemy charges puts Imran’s and the party’s leadership’s life in jeopardy,” Mazari said.

What’s next:

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah warned Imran and his followers that they will be arrested, according to the letter. Mazari then urged that the UN Special Procedures mechanism to engage with the Pakistani government and the usage of blasphemy laws against political opponents, stop media censorship, and stop denying the right to peaceful protest through coercive tactics and protest site blocking.

Mahnoor Tariq
Mahnoor Tariq
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