Washington DC:

The South Asians Against Terrorism & For Human Rights (SAATH) Forum  condemns the vile attack and use of abusive language against a political activist and Forum member Marvi Sirmed by Khalilur Rehman Qamar on a national TV channel earlier this week.

We believe the national TV channel must apologise to Marvi Sirmed and ban Khalilur Rehman from any TV appearance. We also demand from PEMRA to look at the matter and fine the said TV channel for broadcasting such act on a national TV. The abusive language and disrespect for a woman is not acceptable.

The SAATH Forum supports the 3rd annual Aurat Azadi March and call the authorities to protect the freedom of speech. We also unequivocally believe in the slogans that are used by women in Pakistan such as “Mera Jism Meri Marzi” (My body, my choice) and “Khana Khud garam karo” (Warm up your food). These slogans rightly highlight the multiple issues which women in Pakistan are facing such as sexual and reproductive health, domestic violence and rape, education, right to assembly and freedom of speech.

We stand in solidarity with our women forum members and the women marchers of Pakistan, and would defend their right to speech and freedom of expression. We call upon media organizations, political workers and international community to join us and stand in solidarity with Marvi Sirmed and the Aurat Azaadi March 2020.