Urgent Action: Professor Facing Prison on Trumped Up Charges (Pakistan: UA 148.19)

Professor Muhammad Ismail, a prisoner of conscience charged with “hate speech” and “cyber terrorism”, was denied bail on 4 November. If convicted, he will face up to seven years in prison. A vocal critic of the country’s armed forces and their treatment of his daughter, woman human rights defender Gulalai Ismail, he is also facing trumped up charges under Pakistan’s draconian anti-terror laws. The Ismail family has endured invasive surveillance and threats and intimidation since May 2019 – with their home raided multiple times. Detained solely for peacefully exercising his human right to freedom of expression, Professor Ismail must be immediately and unconditionally released.



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Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Foreign Office
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
Phone: +92 51-9210335
Fax: +92 51-9207600
Email: [email protected]
Dr. Asad Majeed Khan
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
3517 International Court NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 243-6500 | Fax: 202 686-1534
Contact form: http://embassyofpakistanusa.org/contact-us/
Facebook: @PakistanEmbassyDC
Twitter: @PakEmbassyDC
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Your Excellency Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi,

I write to you out of extreme concern for the life and safety of Professor Muhammad Ismail, a 64-year-old teacher and human rights defender. The father of Gulalai Ismail, his family have been the subject of an intense surveillance and harassment campaign, designed to intimidate them into silence and create a sense of fear among Pakistan’s already threatened human rights community.

Professor Ismail’s abduction and trumped up charges under Pakistan’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Act and Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act put him at risk of a lengthy prison sentence which, considering his age, will further endanger his health. He must not be punished for his political expression and for defending his daughter – who was also forced to flee her home country.

We call upon your government to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Professor Ismail, an Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience, and order his release without delay, and put a stop to the invasive surveillance of him and his family.

Yours sincerely,


Human rights are under threat: