Stop arresting activists on sedition charges and fake police cases
On 11 February 2019, the Pakistani state police known for its unlawful arrests, brutality and killings of innocent people cracked down and arrested Progressive Youth Alliance students and activists from their Multan office. They were charges with numerous cases including sedition. Others managed to get pre-arrest bail but Rawal Asad is still held in jail and there is a threat that the state police will torture him in the lockup and hold him forever. His only crime is that he is an activist who is trying to organise students and workers against injustices by university officials, employers and the state institutions. The activists were arrested immediately when they joined a protest in solidarity called by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) in Multan. They were protesting the killing of one of their leader, Arman Luni, who was a college professor and was tortured a few days ago by a police officer. Arman died as a result of the torture.
Rawal Asad is an undergraduate student and political activist of Government Emerson College in Multan. From high school times, he has been involved in protests against fee hikes, for the restoration of student unions and on many other student-related issues. Currently, he is active in the labour movement and is always at the forefront of labour struggles and workers’ protests for their rights including against healthcare privatisation, against non-payment of wages to workers and many more. In Pakistan, raising your voice against injustice has become a crime of such a seriousness that culprits are now being tried on sedition charges.
The Pakistani bosses and state have extensively used colonial era laws to oppress workers, students and trade unionists through the police who are one of the most corrupt and brutal institutions of all. Numerous protests were held for Arman Luni but arrested people were released immediately without any serious charges. The state is terrified that activists like Rawal Asad can organise this anger and lead the students and workers against state and institutions brutalities and opression. This is why he is being victimised and may face long prison terms. Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity Campaign appeals to students and workers and organisations to show solidarity with Rawal and his family as they are facing the worst of their times with their son in jail and fearing his life.
Please send message of solidarity to his family through this campaign (email@example.com) and also messages demanding immediate release to Pakistan Ambassador/High Commissioner , Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Justice Supreme Court (a draft text is available at the end to adapt as you would like to). Please copy all correspondences to firstname.lastname@example.org to the track progress.
To Send Messages
|Prime Minister of Pakistan
Address: P.M Secretariat,
Constitution Avenue, G-5/2,
Phones : (+92-51) 9222666,
|Pakistan High Commissioners
in different countries
Please check contact emails,
phone numbers and
addresses for your
|Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan
Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa
Address: Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, G-5/2 Islamabad, Pakistan
Phone: +92 51 92 20 581-600
Please send motion to your student union and trade union branch demanding immediate release of Rawal Asad and end charges against him. (please download the model motion form the link below to send to your branch secretary/chair). Also download campaign poster to distribute to members and friends.
Draft text for email/letters/fax to Pakistani leadership
(Please send a copy of messages to the campaign to track progress email@example.com)
I would like to bring to your kind notice that police in Multan city has arrested and put fake charges on a student leader and social activist Rawal Asad on 11 February 2019. His only crime is that he was attending and showing solidarity with Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement rally organised against the extra judicial killing of Professor Arman Loni in Loralai Baluchistan. Rawal is held in prison for an indefinite period with unnecessary court delays in granting him bail and releasing him from police.
We in our [Student Union / Trade Union / Organisation] condemn this act of barbarity against social activists in Pakistan and demand the release of Rawal Asad from jail and also that all fake charges including sedition should be dropped.
Rawal Asad is a committed social activist and is always at the forefront standing shoulder to shoulder with students and workers in supporting their peaceful struggles. We expect that the state should protect such activists as they are the only hope for poor and oppressed people of Pakistan.
We will be waiting for your cooperative response.