Pakistani court acquits parents of activist in treason case

United States Courts

A Pakistani court on Wednesday acquitted the parents of an exiled female human rights activist, a defense lawyer said, three years after the couple was arrested on charges of terror financing and sedition.

The 2019 arrests of Gulalai Ismail’s parents, Mohammad and Uzlifat Ismail, in the northwestern city of Peshawar, had drawn widespread condemnation. The U.S. State Department also expressed concern over the arrests.

On Wednesday, an anti-terrorism court acquitted the couple, saying the prosecution failed to prove the charges, according to the couple’s lawyer, Shabbir Hussain Gigyan.

Mohammad Ismail is a teacher and a social activist. His daughter fled to the U.S. in 2019 and she sought asylum there to avoid harassment by Pakistani security agencies over her investigations into alleged human rights abuses by soldiers.

In recent years, Pakistani activists and journalists have increasingly come under attack by the government and the security establishment, restricting the space for criticism and dissent. The criticism of the military can result in threats, intimidation, sedition charges and in some cases, being arrested with no warning.




Related listings

  • German parliament votes to approve EU-Canada trade pact

    German parliament votes to approve EU-Canada trade pact

    United States Courts 12/01/2022

    German lawmakers on Thursday approved a free-trade deal between the European Union and Canada, moving the accord a step closer to taking full effect.The pact, formally known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, was signed in la...

  • Graham appeals order to testify in Georgia election probe

    Graham appeals order to testify in Georgia election probe

    United States Courts 08/18/2022

    U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has formally appealed a judge’s order requiring him to testify before a special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally sought to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia....

  • 2nd defendant pleads guilty in 2018 hate crime in Washington

    2nd defendant pleads guilty in 2018 hate crime in Washington

    United States Courts 04/09/2022

    A second defendant has pleaded guilty in federal court to a hate crime and making false statements in connection with a 2018 racially-motivated assault in the Seattle area.U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said Jason DeSimas, 45, of Tacoma, Washington, is one...

USCIS Will Begin Accepting CW-1 Petitions for Fiscal Year 2019

On April 2, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions under the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2019 cap. Employers in the CNMI use the CW-1 program to employ foreign workers who are ineligible for other nonimmigrant worker categories. The cap for CW-1 visas for FY 2019 is 4,999.

For the FY 2019 cap, USCIS encourages employers to file a petition for a CW-1 nonimmigrant worker up to six months in advance of the proposed start date of employment and as early as possible within that timeframe. USCIS will reject a petition if it is filed more than six months in advance. An extension petition may request a start date of Oct. 1, 2018, even if that worker’s current status will not expire by that date.

Since USCIS expects to receive more petitions than the number of CW-1 visas available for FY 2019, USCIS may conduct a lottery to randomly select petitions and associated beneficiaries so that the cap is not exceeded. The lottery would give employers the fairest opportunity to request workers, particularly with the possibility of mail delays from the CNMI.

USCIS will count the total number of beneficiaries in the petitions received after 10 business days to determine if a lottery is needed. If the cap is met after those initial 10 days, a lottery may still need to be conducted with only the petitions received on the last day before the cap was met. USCIS will announce when the cap is met and whether a lottery has been conducted.