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IHC Grants Bail To Islamabad Activists, Orders Release

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Islamabad:

Islamabad High Court (IHC) has granted bail to Awami Workers Party (AWP) and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) activists who were arrested on sedition charges last week. Justice Athar Minallah issued the orders while hearing the bail plea of the detained activists. He asked Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafaat under whose orders the bright educated activists were were arrested, to which he did not have a response. “Can you justify what you have done”, the judge asked the DC.

Justice Minallah remarked that the use of draconian laws against peaceful protesters brings the state institutions into disrepute. “This use of force against protestors takes place in India,” he said, adding that the administration violated an earlier order of the IHC against use of sedition charges.

Workers of the AWP and civil society activists were present in the court during the hearing to express solidarity with the arrested activists. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farhatullah Babar and former Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Afrasiab Khattak were also present on the occasion.

On Tuesday, Islamabad police had launched a crackdown on those protesting against the arrest of PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen, arresting several protestors including women. The detainees included MNA Mohsin Dawar who was later let go along with women activists. 23 other activists, however, remained in custody and were charged with sedition.

The IHC on Saturday summoned DC Islamabad and IG Police to explain the charges.

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