IAPL: Pakistan urged to release brother of pro-Imran Khan human rights lawyer

High profile figures call on UK to seek release of brother of Shahzad Akbar, amid crackdown on Khan’s political party

Journalists, human rights figures, and British MPs are calling on Pakistani authorities to release the brother of prominent human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar, several days after he was believed to have been taken from his home and arbitrarily detained.

Shahzad said in a tweet on Sunday, that while he was not currently in the country, his house in Islamabad had been raided and his younger brother, Murad, was “kidnapped” by dozens of armed police and paramilitary rangers and is being held incommunicado.

The letter was published on Wednesday with signatories including former Channel 4 New reporter Jon Snow, former Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, Middle East Eye writer Peter Oborne and MPs Chris Bryant and David Davis.

“We call on Pakistani authorities to immediately release Murad Akbar, who we believe is arbitrarily detained and at risk of torture, disappearance and death,” said the letter, addressed to UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

“We also call on the British Government, the European Union, and the wider international community to seek Murad’s immediate release, and condemn this appalling act of intimidation against a renowned human rights defender.”

Shahzad, who previously served as an advisor in the government of former prime minister Imran Khan, told MEE that he believes the detention of his brother is an intimidation tactic to lure him in to become a witness in a case against Khan.





Pakistan urged to release brother of pro-Imran Khan human rights lawyer