Ali Dayan Hasan leaves Human Rights Watch

Ali Dayan Hasan. Photo: Malik Siraj Akbar

Ali Dayan Hasan. Photo: Malik Siraj Akbar

Human Rights Watch has issued a laudatory press release about the departure of their long-time Pakistan Director Ali Dayan Hasan from the organisation. Since statement will not be posted on their website, I’m sharing it below. Incidentally, I’ve known Ali since he was a school student in his teens, when he did his first reporting assignment for me at The Frontier Post in Lahore — long before he became a senior editor at monthly The Herald and then a hot shot human rights activist. He told me some time back that he wants to do his own thing. Good luck Ali. Whatever you do, I’m sure you’ll do it well. May the force(s) be with you. 

***Media Advisory***

Ali Dayan Hasan Departs Human Rights Watch

(New York, May 3, 2014) – Human Rights Watch regrets to announce the departure of its Pakistan director, Ali Dayan Hasan, after 11 years with the organization.

Hasan joined Human Rights Watch in 2003. Over the past decade, he has been a pioneering figure in the organization’s internationalization efforts, providing inspiration to replicate the process more broadly across the international human rights movement.

With his background as a journalist, Hasan has shown what a gifted writer, tireless advocate, and constant media presence can accomplish in the most challenging of circumstances. In the face of public threats and at risk to himself, Hasan has been a powerful and relentless voice against abuses by government authorities and militant groups, and against complicity in such abuses by US and British authorities.

Hasan’s exemplary body of work – including on abuses in Balochistan, in support of the rights of Pakistan’s Muslim and non-Muslim religious minorities, and in defense of media freedoms – speaks for itself. The power of Hasan’s message struck at powerful rights abusers, and generated a huge media and Twitter following, another area in which he has been a pioneer for Human Rights Watch.

“Ali Hasan has been a constant and courageous defender of human rights in Pakistan over the past decade with Human Rights Watch,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “We will miss him greatly as he embarks on the next chapters of his professional life.”

3 Responses

  1. Hopefully somebody will fill his worthy boots, though I am concerned that he may have been ‘silenced’. Whenever one felt depressed about events, voices of sanity and courage like Ali Dayan, Raza Rumi, Marvi Sirmed and yourself gave us hope that all was not lost. But one by one it appears that the lights are being extinguished. Stay safe. Prudence is the better part of valour.


    • Thanks for your concern and support. Ali has not been ‘silenced’, he will continue his human rights work and also plans to write more. The lights are far from being extinguished – more and more people are speaking up. We’re on the right track despite everything.


  2. Ali you had been the most courageous and relentless face of resistance to obscurantists forces back home, your departure is such a big blow and i hope your successor will carry on your legacy and sustain firm even when the ground under feet may shake at the highest magnitude of earthquakes. I wish him all the best and hope to see him doing more distinguishing work.


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