Monday Aug 02, 2021
FAISALABAD: The Amnesty International South Asia on Monday called on the Pakistan government to grant permission to the Aurat March organisers to hold a protest in the city.
The protest was supposed to be held on Sunday on the Noor Mukadam issue, however, the Aurat March organisers announced that it had been postponed due to security reasons.
"Amnesty International notes with serious concern the government’s decision to bar the #AuratMarch protest in Faisalabad yesterday. The right to peaceful assembly is protected by all major human rights conventions and the Constitution of Pakistan," the Amnesty International South Asia said in a Twitter message.
The international human rights watchdog called upon authorities to immediately grant Aurat March Faisalabad all necessary permissions and provide them security, should they need it.
The organisers had also issued a statement saying they will give a new date for the protest.
"Aurat march has been postponed due to security concerns. New update will be posted shortly," it said.
Speaking to Geo.tv, Assistant Commissioner Faisalabad City Ayub Bukhari said that the organisers were holding the protest without obtaining a no-objection certificate (NOC).
"In such events, there are a lot of security threats and security risks. We asked them to apply for a proper NOC," he said, adding that the Aurat March organisers had even provided authorities with a written affidavit "that we were organising this march without an NOC".
"They did not adopt a proper procedure," he said.
Bukhari clarified that he does not give permissions for such events, adding that it is his boss (Deputy Commissioner) who has the prerogative. "If they get permission, well and good," he said.
The assistant commissioner said that there is definitely a threat due to preparations for the holy month of Muharram, adding that restrictions have also been placed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked to comment on the Noor Mukadam case, he refused to do so.
"I did not comment on the Noor Mukadam case and neither do I want to comment on it now," he said.