Professor Muhammad Ismail, a prisoner of conscience charged with “hate speech’ and “cyber terrorism”, was denied bail on 4 November. If convicted, he will face up to seven years in prison. A vocal critic of the country’s armed forces and their treatment of his daughter, woman human rights defender Gulalai Ismail, he is also facing trumped up charges under Pakistan’s draconian anti-terror laws. The Ismail family has faced surveillance, threats and intimidation since May 2019 – with their home raided multiple times. Detained solely for peacefully exercising his human right to freedom of expression, Professor Ismail must be immediately and unconditionally released.
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