*From middle July but still relevant.*
TORONTO – July 18, 2019 – PRLog — Humanist Canada continues to join a growing chorus of denunciation of the Government of Pakistan in its treatment of human rights campaignerGulalai Ismail, including Humanists International and other human rights groups. Denunciation followed by calls to drop the sedition charge against Ismail.
Once more, we call on the Government of Canada to request and urge the Government of Pakistan to drop the charges of sedition against Ismail, as she worked, in a peaceful protest, to bring attention to the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl, Farishta. Now, Humanist Canada extends the call to stop the (alleged) harassment of Ismail’s family.
“If the reports about Ismail and her family stand as sufficiently factual and accurate, the charge of sedition against Ismail remains suspicious, even potentially contrived, and the harassment, or state discrimination, of the family remains unjust and unfair with the appearance of the conscious punishment of Ismail’s family in the light of a possible spurious sedition charge against Ismail,” Humanist Canada Board Member and Young Humanists International Secretary-General, Scott Jacobsen, explained. “For example, according to reportage, the family of Ismail continues to suffer threats and harassment, a raid of the family home, with Ismail’s parents, recently, booked under First Information Reports (FIRs) with accusations of involvement in and monetary support of anti-state and terrorist organizations.”
Martin Frith, President of Humanist Canada, echoed the sentiments, saying, “The intransigence of the Pakistani authorities means that Gulalai’s only hope is public pressure from the international community. The Canadian government voiced support for human rights in the past. We urge the Government of Canada to act on the principles of support for human rights defenders and protection of human rights by publicly intervening in the case of Gulalai with the appropriate Pakistani officials.”
“They are under serious threat of arrest and in-custody torture. These are extremely serious allegations, [and] can cause their immediate arrest and long term [imprisonment]. It is [meant] to [torture] Gulalai Ismail and her family for being Human Rights Defenders and peace activists… Gulalai Ismail’s mother is a house-wife and has been dragged [into] the matter to torture Gulalai Ismail and her family,” Saba Ismail, Gulalai’s younger sister, said.
We urge members of the Canadian public and the international freethought community to email support to the Pakistani embassy in Ottawa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Human rights defenders and campaigners fight for the rights of others. Often, this comes with risks to themselves. Sometimes, they need defenders and campaigners, too.
“Ismail represents one of those rare and rarefied individuals known as human rights campaigners and defenders with the resilience, persistence, and moral courage to speak out on instances of unfairness and injustice with the full knowledge of the difficult circumstances in which this happens and the probable legal, penal, and livelihood consequences of voicing unpopular and uncomfortable truths on fundamental issues of human rights important for the protection of the weak, often voiceless, and vulnerable,” Jacobsen stated.
For more information from Humanists International, please see here:
About Humanist Canada
Humanist Canada is a national not-for-profit charitable organization promoting the separation of religion from public policy and fostering the development of reason, compassion and critical thinking for all Canadians through secular education and community support.
Board Member, Humanist Canada; Secretary-General, Young Humanists International
President, Humanist Canada
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Other Resources: Recovering From Religion.