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Protesters including academics charged with sedition for demanding release of Manzoor Pashteen

Protesters including academics charged with sedition for demanding release of Manzoor Pashteen

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Police have registered FIR against several activists and supporters of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) who were arrested during a demonstration against PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen’s arrest. They have been charged under sections 188, 186, 147, 149, 505A, 505B, 341, 353, 124A.

On Tuesday, several activists who were gathered at the Press Club in Islamabad to protest Manzoor Pashteen’s detention were arrested by the police. Those arrested included MNA Mohsin Dawar, who was later released after midnight along with other detainees. However, a number of protesters including Awami Workers Party (AWP) leader Ammar Rashid reportedly remain in police custody. Others under custody include Nawfal Saleemi, an Oxford graduate and an academic, Saifullah Nasar, an academic from QAU, and a student Sharukh Rukan Alam.

Why do protesters of peaceful protests always get charged on the basis of sedition?

In November last year, when the student solidarity march deamnding the restoration of student unions took place, Academics like Ammar Ali Jan were under sedition. The same thing has happened once again. Yesterday, on Tuesday, a peaceful protest was carried out demanding the release of PTM’s Manzoor Pashteen. Islamabad protesters were arrested including the leader of PTM. Why is it that this happens? We call out our neighbours for suppressing the voices of reason, when we’re doing the exact same thing.

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