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 Continue reading

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CFRM letter to editors The News and Jang re: an unethical, false and irresponsible report

The Citizens for Free and Responsible Media, Pakistan, has sent an email to the Editors of The News and Jang regarding an unethical, false and irresponsible report about Ali Dayan’s testimony before the US congressional hearing on Balochistan, in response to a private member’s proposed resolution in the House of Representatives. Text of the email posted in a Note in the CFRM facebook page; also copy-pasted below. (Note: Contrary to the impression given in some sections of the media in Pakistan, the U.S. has not passed any ‘bill’ on Balochistan; even if such a bill does pass, it will have no legally binding status unless it is debated and presented for a vote in the form of a bill that would need to pass through both the lower house and the senate).  Continue reading

HRW response to ‘Memogate’: a litmus test for all actors – particularly judiciary and army

Dec 30, 2011, Human Rights Watch press statement received today: “As the “Memogate” case proceeds, all arms of the state must act within their constitutionally determined ambit and in aid of legitimate civilian rule. In this context, justice must both be done and be seen to be done. Pakistan desperately needs a full democratic cycle and a peaceful transfer of power from one civilian administration to another. Should this process be derailed, the constitutional safeguards and legal rights protections created since 2008 may suffer irreparable damage.  Continue reading

HRW statement; and Indian citizens on abduction of Shahbaz Taseer


Shocked to learn of the abduction of slain Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer’s son Shahbaz this morning, in Lahore reportedly by four gunmen as the younger Taseer headed to his office. I join all those calling on the government, police and administration to ensure his speedy and safe recovery, and arrest and prosecution of the culprits – see statements below by Human Rights Watch, and a press release by concerned Indian citizens: Continue reading

Hameed Haroon backs HRW claims on Saleem Shahzad abduction, murder


A leading newspaper publisher in Pakistan and the president of  the nationwide newspapers body has reacted sharply  to charges by the Inter Services`Intelligence Agency (ISI) that allegations by Human Rights Watch of the intelligence agency’s involvement in the abduction and murder of  Pakistani journalist Salim Shahzad were “baseless”. Following is the full text of his statement, released to the media on June 1, 2010.
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‘Learn your lesson, identify the safe areas and play there…’

Saleem Shehzad - facebook page photo

Just posted to my beena-issues yahoogroup:

Uploaded to my blog: HRCP URGENT APPEAL for Muzaffar Bhutto, Gen. Secy Jeay Sindh Muttaheda Mahaz.

Another disappearance on Sunday didn’t end well. I felt sick hearing the news that Saleem Shehzad, the Asia Times correspondent who had gone ‘missing’ from Islamabad, was found dead, with torture marks on his body. As I write this, his body, exhumed from a hurriedly dug grave at the behest of a judge, was being sent for a second autopsy to establish the cause of death. Continue reading

Aasiya blasphemy case: Field notes, petitions and a press release

The death sentence that a district court handed down to Aasiya Bibi, a poor Christian woman in Punjab, is not the first of its kind except that this is the first time a woman has been so sentenced (but not the first time one has been so accused). Since the ‘blasphemy law’ was promulgated, there have been many such convictions – that the higher courts have always over-turned. District courts have also shown sense: I remember a woman district judge in Karachi acquitting Chand Barkat, a bangle seller who had been accused by a rival). However, vigilante violence (cold-bloodedly orchestrated by extremist organisations) has claimed the lives of some 20 charged under this law or publicly accused of this ‘crime’. Continue reading

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