AILING PROFESSOR ARRESTED AFTER CANCELATION OF BAIL
Professor Muhammad Ismail, 66 and an Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience, was arrested on 2 February 2021 after his pre-arrest bail was canceled at his bail confirmation hearing at an Anti-Terrorism Court in Peshawar. Charged with “terror financing” because of the organization his daughter, human rights defender Gulalai Ismail does, he is at risk of a lengthy prison sentence. Professor Ismail recently tested positive for COVID-19, which his family says has weakened his health significantly, exacerbating the risk to his wellbeing if he is sent to jail. Amnesty International calls for all charges against Professor Ismail to be dropped unconditionally and for his immediate release.
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Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister’s Office
Constitution Avenue G-5/2, Islamabad
Tel: +92 51-9045265 | Fax: +92 51-9215519
Email: [email protected]
Your Excellency Prime Minister Imran Khan,
I write to you out of extreme concern for the health and safety of Professor Muhammad Ismail, who was arrested after his pre-arrest bail was canceled at an anti-terrorism court in Peshawar on 2 February 2021.
The arrest follows heavy-handed intimidation tactics (including raids at his home), intrusive surveillance and repeated appearances in court for hearings since July 2019. Professor Ismail and his wife also remain on the country’s no-fly list, which prevents them from being united with their daughter Gulalai Ismail – who was forced to flee her home country in September 2019. It is distressing to learn that Professor Ismail is at risk of a lengthy prison sentence, as he faces trumped-charges under the draconian Anti-Terrorism Act and Electronic Crimes Act. What started as a ‘terrorism’ charge for defending his daughter online, has now become a ‘sedition’ allegation.
I also wish to express my grave fears for the wellbeing of 66-year-old Professor Ismail, who has just recently tested positive for COVID-19. According to his family, his already ailing health has further deteriorated. Sending him to an overcrowded prison, with poor access to health facilities gravely violates his right to health.
I call upon you to immediately and unconditionally release Professor Ismail, as he is imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his human right to freedom of expression; immediately drop all charges against him and his family; ensure that Professor Ismail has access to adequate food, health care and prompt access to medical attention; and ensure that Professor Ismail has regular, unrestricted access to a lawyer of his choice and his family.