Gulalai Ismail

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Whitaker Baroness Whitaker Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the government of Pakistan to restore the right to travel of Gulalai Ismail who was arrested on her return to Pakistan.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

We are concerned by restrictions on freedom of expression, including the detention of human rights activists, in Pakistan. The freedom to hold and express views without censorship, intimidation or unnecessary restriction is a cornerstone of democracy. The arrest of Gulalai Ismail is a further worrying development against the backdrop of restrictions on fundamental rights in Pakistan.

We regularly raise at a senior level our concerns about the human rights situation with the Government of Pakistan, including on the freedom of expression. I discussed human rights in Pakistan with the Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, in September 2018. The British Government continues to urge Pakistan to honour in full its human rights obligations.

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