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Imaan Mazari, Ali Wazir granted post-arrest bail in sedition case

Imaan Mazari, Ali Wazir granted post-arrest bail in sedition caseByArfa Feroz Zake Monday, August 28, 2023

Human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari (left) and PTM leader Ali Wazir (right) photographed after their arrests on August 20, 2023. — AFP
Imaan delivered speech in presence of over 1,000 people: prosecutor.
Imaan, Wazir arrested after PTM’s rally in Islamabad last week.
Both accused of targeting state institutions in their speeches at rally.

An Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday granted bail to human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Ali Wazir in a sedition case related to the controversial speech against the state institutions.

ATC Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain heard the plea and approved post-arrest bail of Imaan and Wazir against surety bonds of Rs30,000 each.

The two were arrested on August 20 and sent on physical remand after they were accused of delivering a controversial speech at the PTM’s public rally.

On August 19, two first information reports (FIR) were registered against Imaan and Wazir at the Tarnol police station and Counter-Terrorism Department police station, following a rally of the PTM in the federal capital.

Both were booked on the charges of sedition, preventing government officials from carrying out their duties and damaging public property.

During today’s hearing, Prosecutor Raja Naveed argued that more than 1,000 people were present at the rally where Imaan delivered the controversial speech against state institutions.

He said Imaan had accused government officials of committing treason in the speech while USB containing the controversial speech had not been received yet.

During the last hearing on August 24, Imaan and Wazir were produced before the ATC judge after a three-day physical remand and the prosecutor sought an extension in their remand.

The prosecutor had told the court that the voice matching and photogrammetry of Imaan Wazir had been completed.

The investigating officer told the court that Imaan was given a piece of paper from which she made the speech.

“She needs to be interrogated who gave her that piece of paper.”

However, Judge Zulqarnain said that the decision would be made based on justice only.

The two were remanded into a 14-day judicial remand on Thursday.

The FIRs
The FIR relating to “interference in state affairs”, was filed on the complaint of Tarnol Station House Officer (SHO) Miam Mohammad Imran following the PTM rally, under Sections 148 (rioting armed with a deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 395 (punishment for dacoity), 440 (mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt) and 506ii (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Tasked with maintaining law and order situation during a rally of the PTM, the SHO said that he was present with other police officials at Tarnol Phatak Chowk on Friday at 5pm, when the rally — in violation of its NOC — started moving from the place allocated to it.

He maintained that the participants of the rally equipped with batons clashed with the police when law enforcers attempted to stop the rally. The crowd blocked both lanes of GT Road after being stopped by the police, read the FIR.

When the leaders of the PTM and supporters were asked to open the road, they attacked the police and issued threats of dire consequences and damaged vehicles and vandalized nearby shops, said the SHO.

The second FIR was registered under PPC Sections 124A (sedition), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) among others.

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