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Friday, July 19, 2024

UN Working Group Calls Ex-PM Imran Khan’s Detention in Pakistan Arbitrary and Unlawful

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In a significant development, the Geneva-based UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared that the imprisonment of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is in violation of international law. The group has called for his ‘immediate’ release, stating that his detention lacks legal basis and appears to be politically motivated.

Imran Khan, who has been entangled in more than 200 legal cases since his removal from office in April 2022, has been imprisoned since August last year. The UN working group has concluded that the detention was intended to disqualify him from running for political office, and thus, was not grounded in law.

The working group’s opinion, which carries reputational weight, highlighted a “much larger campaign of repression” against Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. In the lead-up to the 2024 general elections, members of Khan’s party were reportedly arrested and tortured, and their rallies disrupted. Allegations of widespread fraud on election day were also made, claiming the theft of dozens of parliamentary seats.

Despite the controversy, Khan remains a leading opposition figure, and his party has hailed the UN group’s demand for his release.

This call from the UN working group underscores the international concern over Khan’s imprisonment and the broader implications for democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan.

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