GILGIT: Lawyers in Gilgit on Friday took to the streets against registration of a case against Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court Bar Association President Ehsan Ali Advocate.

The lawyers threatened to expand their protest across the region and boycott court proceedings if their leader was not released forthwith.

Ehsan Ali was arrested on the night between Sunday and Monday from his home in Jutial Gilgit as he was wanted by police in an FIR registered against him on Jan 8 for sharing a post on Facebook which allegedly hurt religious sentiments of people.

On Monday, the Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Raja Shahbaz Khan had sent him on judicial remand till Feb 26.

The protest call was given by GB Chief Court Bar Association, district bars, and young lawyers association.

A large number of lawyers gathered outside of the GB Chief Court building in Gilgit and demonstrated against detention of their leader under ATA.

The protesters chanted slogans against the GB police while holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands. The protesters said registration of FIR against the lawyer under ATA was humiliation of GB lawyers and an attack on judiciary.

Addressing on the occasion, senior lawyers Shahbaz Advocate, Rashid Umer and others said the legal community of the region had decided to continue protest till release of Ehsan Advocate.

They said police raid on Ehsan’s home at midnight was violation of human rights, and appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the issue.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2018