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Pakistan: Authorities must 'exercise restraint' towards people protesting Imran Khan's arrest

© Muhammed Semih Ugurlu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least eight people have died nationwide in the protests following arrest of former PM

Mobile internet shutdown indefinitely

‘There is an urgent need to de-escalate the situation in Pakistan’ - Rimmel Mohydin

In response to the violent protests, multiple deaths, mass arrests and an ‘indefinite’ ban on mobile internet since the arrest of the former prime minister Imran Khan in Pakistan, Rimmel Mohydin, Amnesty International’s Regional Campaigner, said:

“There is an urgent need to de-escalate the situation in Pakistan that is threatening severe human rights violations and risks more fatalities.

“The ‘indefinite’ mobile internet shutdown is a clear violation of people’s right to access information and creates a permissive environment for other human rights violations - the restrictions must be lifted immediately.

“We strongly urge the Pakistani authorities to exercise restraint and use minimum force without resorting to the use of firearms to disperse protestors. The authorities must also ensure no arbitrary arrests are made and that there is evidence of reasonable suspicion of criminality for each arrest.”

Violence after former PM’s arrest

On Monday (8 May), former prime minister and leader of Tehreek-i-Insaf party, Imran Khan was arrested at the Islamabad High Court by the Pakistan Rangers - a paramilitary force - in connection with a corruption case. His supporters held demonstrations nationwide against his arrest, many of which turned violent, and the army was called in response.

At least eight people have died throughout the country in the protests and 1,400 have been arrested according to police reports in the media, including other political leaders of the Tehreek-i-Insaf party.

Schools and offices have remained closed over the last two days and exams cancelled nationwide.

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