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Humanists International Board, Gulalai Ismail, Facing “Sedition” Charge


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/05/23

One of the board members, according to Humanists International, of the mothership of humanists at an international level of representation is facing sedition charges within the anti-terrorism act of Pakistan.

Sedition amounts to a charge against the state or a monarch. Gulalai Ismail is known as a defender of human rights and someone who devoted a significant amount of effort and time to the rights of girls and women.

The reason or the instigation for the charge of sedition comes from Ismail campaigning for the rights and justice for a girl who “was raped and murdered.”

As reported, “It was reported in Pakistani media today that an FIR (First Information Report) was raised against Gulalai Ismail in relation to a speech she gave at a rally earlier in the week. The accusation falls under the anti-terrorism act for ‘delivering seditious speeches and instigating masses against the state institutions.’”

Her — Gulalai’s — speech went viral on social media and, consequently, brought attention to an individual case of a girl who has her rights violated and, in turn, the general issue of violence against women and girls.

“Gulalai’s speech earlier in the week was widely circulated on social media. The rally and the speech were held to protest the rape and murder of a minor girl known as Farishta,” the article stated.

Farishta’s corpse was found in the Shahzad Town area. The order of the crimes was rape and then murder, not vice versa. Farishta’s family attempted to file a missing person report for her on May 15.

However, the police office took until the 19th — half of a week later — to register the FIR, so a proper search was not initiated there.

“Protesters at the rally his week were objecting to the perceived lack of interest or progress in the case up to that point. Subsequent to the protests,” the reportage said, “the government and state authorities have pledged to take action on the case and investigate the apparent inaction of police services. The accusation in the FIR is that this speech was ‘anti-state’ or ‘seditious.”

Such is the life of an individual who defends the rights of women and girls, apparently, this is common for activists who argue for the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of women and girls.

In prior news reportage, as some reading this may know, the stipulations were that Ismail was committing blasphemy or a religious — not a secular — crime, in the promotion of the rights of women to equal treatment in legal and social life with the men.

“It is particularly concerning that Gulalai Ismail faces the prospect of arrest and detention again, having faced similar accusations several times in the past few years,” Humanists International said.

Now, a “significant” amount of social media activity has been devoted to this case. In short, Ismail may have a charge of sedition, purported. However, she won. The positive (and, granted, the negative) attention has been drawn to the case of the violations of the rights and ending of the life of a girl, Farishta.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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