Pakistan’s authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Gulalai Ismail, a Pashtun human rights defender, who was detained on her arrival at Islamabad airport today, Amnesty International said.
Gulalai Ismail is a supporter of the nonviolent Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), which has been campaigning across Pakistan against enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and discrimination against the country’s Pashtun ethnic minority.
“Gulalai Ismail must be immediately and unconditionally released. There is no justification whatsoever for her detention or for imposing a travel ban on her. She is being detained solely for her peaceful human rights work,” said Rabia Mehmood, South Asia Researcher at Amnesty International.
Gulalai Ismail, who is the founder of the Seeds of Peace network and the 2017 winner of the Anna Politkovskaya award, was detained at Islamabad airport on her return from London.
Upon her arrival in Islamabad, she was informed that her name had been placed on the “Exit Control List”, which imposes a ban on her from traveling outside the country.