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Case against the PTI leadership under the cyber crime law would be terribly ill-advised. HRCP


The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has voiced grave concern over government representatives’ statements regarding trying a key political leader under the cyber crime law. The Commission also expressed serious alarm over some parliamentarians seeking to malign the country’s leading human rights defender for questioning how members of judiciary conduct themselves.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Commission said: “HRCP is alarmed by a cabinet member’s statement that the government is preparing a case against the PTI leadership under the cyber crime law.

“There should be no doubt that such a move would be terribly ill-advised in the prevailing state of polarization and political wrangling. If the ruling party indeed believes that Mr. Imran Khan, head of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), and/or other leaders of his party have committed contempt of court in any way, what can be easier than dealing with that under the contempt law? Why try and invoke a law which has invited countless reservations in its short lifespan and, even before that, when it was being debated as a draft?

“This should also strengthen the resolve of civil society, including the political parties, to remain vigilant against adoption of laws which operate with questionable checks and safeguards at best, and which can be manipulated for political victimisation or other arbitrary actions.

“HRCP is also dismayed to note that a member of the National Assembly thought that the best use of his time on the floor of the house was to hurl insults at the country’s premier human rights defender, because she had dared to comment on the conduct of a judge. One hopes that the parliament and the parliamentarians will find more positive ways to distinguish themselves.

“We sincerely hope and expect that with regard to its disagreements with the PTI, the government will proceed in a manner that does not aggravate the already tense political climate or which can be seen as political victimsation.”

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