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Gulalai Ismail on Bail in Pakistan


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/15

The former International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organisation, now Youth Humanists International, Secretary-General, and a current Humanists International Board Member, Gulalai Ismail, was arrested in Pakistan a few mornings ago.

She is a well-known humanist campaigner. Within the humanist community, she is an important frontrunner for the rights and equality of humanists. She spoke at the Conservative Party Conference in the UK.

But she left and arrived in Pakistan at the Islamabad airport. The Federal Investigation Agency arrested her on the spot. Now, she has been released on bail. However, the potential prosecutions are threatening.

Also, she is under a travel ban and, therefore, stuck in Pakistan as a result without the ability to leave. They also have her passport. Ismail remains an award-winning human rights defender. This is an important moment.

She co-founded an organization called Aware Girls. This is an organization devoted to women and girls. That is, it remains a women’s and girls’ rights organization run by Ismail. She is an impressive person.

In terms of the two most prescient rights initiatives of the early 21st century, Ismail continues to speak on them: the advancement and empowerment of women, and the peace-building. Indeed, she was named the 2014 International Humanist of the Year in 2014.

She is young, runs an important organization, and wins awards for her pursuit of human rights.

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK and President of IHEU (or Humanists International), stated:

We are gravely concerned for our dear friend and colleague. Gulalai is a brave humanist and human rights activist, whose tireless efforts for peace and human rights have earned her respect around the world. Pakistan should be proud to have produced such a daughter and we urge the authorities to release her, return her passport, and restore her freedom to travel.

‘We have written today to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Pakistan High Commission in London urging them to support Gulalai’s urgent release and offer her the full protection of the law.

Humanists UK has written to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Pakistan High Commission in London with the statements urging for the removal of prosecution in addition for the rightful return of Ismail’s ability to travel, e.g., removing the travel ban and returning her passport to her.


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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