Inform court before arresting Imaan Mazari, IHC tells authorities

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday directed the authorities concerned to inform the court before arresting human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari in any case. 

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb took up Mazari’s petition seeking protective bail and details of the first information reports (FIRs) registered against her. He announced the order in the hearing today. 

On August 20, Mazari and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir were taken into custody after they delivered a controversial speech at a political rally in Islamabad.

Both were booked on the charges of sedition, preventing government officials from carrying out their duties and damaging public property.

Later on August 28, an Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) granted bail to the human rights lawyer Wazir in the sedition case. However, Mazari was rearrested shortly after she was released from Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

Following her arrest, Mazari was handed over to the Islamabad police on a three-day physical remand.

However, on September 2, the lawyer was once again granted post-arrest bail in the terror case bail by the ATC in the terror case against a surety bond of Rs10,000.

During the hearing today, the authorities were directed to inform the court in advance before arresting the human rights lawyer in any FIR registered against her.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Munawar Iqbal Duggal told the court that they had already written to the provinces after the last hearing, seeking details of the FIR(s).

“We also faxed and asked them on WhatsApp as well,” he added.

AAG Duggal further remarked that the petitioner should not make such statements.

At this, the court said that they were dealing with the case, reiterating that the court should be informed about any FIR.

The high court then disposed of the petition filed by Iman Mazari.

The FIRs

The FIR relating to “interference in state affairs”, was filed on the complaint of Tarnol Station House Officer (SHO) Miam Mohammad Imran following the PTM rally, under Sections 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) and 506ii (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Tasked with maintaining law and order situation during a rally of the PTM, the SHO said that he was present with other police officials at Tarnol Phatak Chowk on Friday at 5pm, when the rally — in violation of its NOC — started moving from the place allocated to it.

He maintained that the participants of the rally equipped with batons clashed with the police when law enforcers attempted to stop the rally. The crowd blocked both lanes of GT Road after being stopped by the police, read the FIR.

When the leaders of the PTM and supporters were asked to open the road, they attacked the police and issued threats of dire consequences and damaged vehicles and vandalised nearby shops, said the SHO.

The second FIR was registered under PPC Sections 124A (sedition), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) among others.

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