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Pakistan rights activist gets bail in army defamation case

May 27, 2022 GMT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani women’s rights activist was granted preemptive bail Friday in a move that protects her from arrest after the army accused her of slandering the country’s military chief, a lawyer said.

The order by the Islamabad High Court came a day after the military made an official complaint with the police against Imaan Mazari, accusing her of using derogatory and hateful remarks against Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa.

According to her lawyer Zainab Janjua, she is accused of inciting against the armed forces and defaming Bajwa. Under Pakistan’s legal system, a person can seek a court order, or preemptive bail, protecting them from arrest by police.

Mazari’s family was worried after she publicly lashed out at Bajwa, accusing him of being behind her mother Shireen Mazari’s arrest last Saturday. Imaan did not offer support for her allegations against Bajwa. The video of her outburst went viral on social media.

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Her mother, who served as a human rights minister in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, was detained over a land-grabbing allegation from decades ago. She was released hours later, after a court decided she was arrested in violation of a law stipulating that no lawmaker can be detained without permission from the parliament speaker.