WASHINGTON: The United States voiced concern on Thursday after a prominent activist said her ailing father had been thrown back into prison in what she saw as retribution for her outspokenness.
Gulalai Ismail, who won international recognition for her campaigns for girls, said her father, was denied bail on charges she says are trumped up.
“I managed to escape Pakistan and I think it has hurt the ego of the people who run the system very badly. Now they are taking revenge,” Ms Ismail said on Wednesday from New York. “They have basically kept my parents as hostages to pressurise and blackmail me as since coming to the US I have not been silent on human rights,” she said.
The US State Department on Thursday said it was “concerned” about the arrest of her father, retired professor Mohammed Ismail. “We are monitoring allegations of harassment against the Ismail family, and urge Pakistan to uphold citizens’ rights to peaceful assembly, expression, due process and the rule of law,” the State Department’s bureau in charge of human rights said on Twitter.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2021