Washington, DC:

We the SAATH Forum demand the immediate and unconditional release of Prof Muhammad Ismail, Secretary General of Pakistan NGO Forum (PNF).

On February 2, 2021, his interim pre-bail arrest was cancelled and he was arrested on trumped up charges yet again. He has been the target of state harassment for two year primarily because of his daughter, Gulalai Ismail, who is a human rights defender and has been critical of HR violations by the state of Pakistan.

All manner of charges of cyber crimes, sedition, and terrorism have been brought against him, because Gulalai escaped persecution after being abducted once, and is herself beyond the physical reach of the state of Pakistan.

She now lives in exile in New York, therefore her elderly parents are being dragged in courts and prisons.

Prof Ismail has recently recovered from Covid19, which he contracted after attending court hearings 2-3 times a week for nearly a year. In the aftermath of his Covid-19 infection, he is physically weak and vulnerable, and it is a travesty of human rights to charge him with terrorism and criminal conspiracy, a man who has only spoken up against the persecution of his daughter for her activism, and to target him thus to torture the real target, the daughter.

We call upon all human rights organizations, the international civil society, the United Nations, the EU, and democratic governments to join us in our demand to drop unconditionally all trumped up charges against Prof Ismail and release him immediately.