Ali Wazir and Imaan Mazari granted bail

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Bail has been granted to Imaan Mazari and Ali Wazir
Imaan Mazari (left ) and Ali Wazir (right) (Photo - Twitter)

Ali Wazir and Imaan Mazari have been granted bail by the Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad. They were required to pay substantial bail amounts of 30,000 (Pak) rupees each. The charges on which they were booked are sedition, preventing government officials from carrying out their duties and damaging public property.

Under false charges of incitement and spreading unrest, they were arrested unconstitutionally on 19 & 20 August. The movement that was gaining force was proving to be difficult for the Pakistan ‘establishment’ to deal with. The movement held to demand answers from the ‘establishment’ about the atrocities committed against Pashtuns by the Pakistan Army. Pashtuns have suffered violence for decades. Several cases of enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, and restrictions on speech and movement have been reported in the region.

The bail granted shows that the commitment and dedication of PTM activists and supporters for the cause have paid off. The Pakistan Army has officially surrendered to the demand of the people.

On Aug 19, two cases were filed against the leaders of the movement (Ali Wazir and Imaan Mazari) – one at Islamabad’s Tarnol police station and another at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station. On August 22, Imaan was granted bail for a rioting and dacoity case by an Islamabad court, but she continued to be held by the police for the sedition case.

Later, on August 24, an Islamabad Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) declined the prosecution’s request to extend their physical remand in the sedition case. As a result, both Imaan and Wazir were transferred from physical remand to judicial remand and sent to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. On August 28th, proceedings for the sedition case, the prosecutor requested ATC Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain for an extension of the accused’s remand. The transcript of Imaan’s speech during the rally was also read aloud in court.

Despite the prosecutor’s objections to granting bail, the court accepted the lawyer’s plea along with that of the PTM leader. They were both granted bail in exchange for a sum of Rs 30,000(Pak) each. The prosecutor argued that the report from the USB was still pending, and forensic analysis of the event was yet to be conducted.

The release of the leaders brings a sense of relief as disturbing reports were circulating of brutal torture of the peaceful activists by the army. This event is a win of the movement, as the saying goes the rules of the powerful prevails. This is the win of the power, of the public and of the movement.

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