Imaan Mazari remanded in custody in another case

Khalid Iqbal
Wednesday, Aug 30, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Anti-Terrorist Court on Tuesday approved a three-day physical remand of human rights lawyer Imaan Mazari after hearing arguments from both sides.

Imaan Mazari was rearrested on Monday by Islamabad police, immediately after she was released from Adiala Jail in another case registered against her on terrorism charges at Bhara Kahu police station.

A day earlier, the lawyer had initially been granted bail by the ATC in another case registered against her for participating in a protest in the federal capital organized by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement. However, she was arrested only hours later by Islamabad police in the case registered at the Bara Kahu police station under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

As the judge presided over the hearing on Tuesday, the prosecution argued for Imaan’s physical remand, saying that they had reasons to believe she had been collecting money from people and using it for anti-state activities.

“We need to recover the amount in her possession,” said prosecutor Raja Naveed, stressing that it was crucial to the investigation to get to others involved in the activity.

Imaan Mazari’s lawyer, Zainab Janjua, on the other hand, argued that there was no need for her physical remand to be granted as she was already cooperating with the authorities.

She is not an office-holder of the PTM, argued Janjua, adding that she was “willing to provide the bank statements.”

“Her laptop and phone are already in the police’s possession,” said the lawyer, questioning why the police needed to keep the accused in custody.

Imaan Mazari has never met the person who filed the FIR, nor has she collected any money, stated her counsel, bringing to the court’s attention the fact that the case was registered on August 26, when the accused was already in police custody.

When Imaan was being released from Adiala Jail, Bara Kahu police were already present there. She continued, stressing that “one cannot register multiple FIRs over the same incident”.

This way, she said, “if the court discharges [the accused] in one case, they are arrested in another.”

She also emphasised that the PTM’s organisers had obtained permission from the authorities to hold the rally, requesting the court dismiss the matter.

“Granting the NOC does not mean permission for anti-state sloganeering, argued the prosecutor. If the court grants remand, evidence will be collected,” he added.

This request, Janjua argued, was unnecessary,” as she assured the court of their full cooperation.

“Courts are being used to settle scores,” she said, and the judiciary must take note of that.

The ATC then went on to reserve its verdict after the completion of arguments. Later, the activist was sent on physical remand for three days.