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Aurat March Condemns Alamgir Wazir’s detention, Criticizes Use Of Sedition Laws To Silence Dissent

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Aurat March Lahore has issued a strong statement of condemnation against the detention of student activist Alamgir Wazir and the registration of FIR against the participants of the Students Solidarity March in Lahore, saying that the use of sedition laws to silence dissent and politics has to end.

In the statement, the Lahore chapter of the Aurat March has termed the move to be a blatant attack on freedom of association and expression, which it said were fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan.

It demanded the immediate release of Alamgir Wazir and that the Punjab government should withdraw the FIR registered against the participants.

It stated that singling out Alamgir Wazir and detaining him was not only unlawful but highlights the fact that Pashtun and Baloch students were racially profiled, discriminated against and harassed on campuses across the country.

Moreover, the women rights organisation termed the charges of sedition against Ammar Ali Jan, Farooq Tariq, Alamgir Wazir, Iqbal Lala, Muhammad Shabbir and Kamil Khan for simply participating in and speaking at the march as outrageous.

It added in its statement that the use of sedition laws to silence dissent and politics had to end. “We were particularly saddened to learn that Iqbal Lala, the father of Mashal Khan, has been nominated in the FIR. Iqbal Lala spoke eloquently at the march about the restoration of student unions and the memory of his son, it is cruel and morally indefensible to subject him to such harassment under the law,” the organisation stated.

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Furthermore, Aurat March Lahore has expressed the view that the social and economic conditions of this country demanded a politics that challenged the base of the fascist-capitalist-patriarchal order.

It also said that the Students Solidarity March was a triumph for progressive politics, adding that marches such as this one presented an alternative political course for the country and blatant intimidation tactics against it were an affront to democratic freedoms.

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