Immediate Inquiry into the Harassment of Sherry Rehman and Protection for Her and Her Family sign now

We believe that freedom of speech which includes holding diverse opinion, is the fundamental right of every citizen and indeed forms the basis of every civilized and democratic society. In Pakistan we have fought long and hard to secure this right from dictators and democrats alike. We feel that we need to continue to be vigilant about growing attempts to muzzle free speech in the public domain. Most importantly, we must not allow our own inaction as citizens to lend sanction to the naked state-backed intimidation that we witnessed at the hands of a government that was once the proud standard-bearer of fundamental rights in Pakistan.

It is therefore our duty as watchful citizens to not allow political parties to unleash such blatant acts of harrasment and intimidation in a series of crude attempts to gag its own senior leadership through violent means.

Sherry Rehman's case is particularly disturbing. As former Information Secretary of the PPP, and former Federal Minister for Information, her services to democracy and press freedoms bear no repeating.
On the heels of a show cause notice served on her by her party for speaking on a television channel that was ostensibly under a ban by the PPP, her house in Karachi was held under siege for hours. On October 22, 2010, about 300-350 armed goons, front-lined by women, protested outside her gates while local police stood and watched them block roads as well as lay siege to her house.
While some sections of the party leadership maintain no knowledge of these activists, their reluctance to take punitive action against these "fringe elements" deployed with party symbols and flags continues.

In a subsequent development that was even more shocking, a Sindh minister went on the television to say without hesitation that Sherry Rehman should have expected such inaction for speaking to a channel that was proscribed by the party.

She was blatant in owning the fascist behavior of these new party shock troops in what she described as "emotional outbursts" by party workers the government or party could control. The silence and inaction of other leaders after several days of the incident now also points to a trail of complicity in dangerous violence.

It should be noted by all that we strongly condemn this attack. The attack on a public representative's house, where her undefended mother and daughter were held hostage for hours, was completely unwarranted and constitutes a serious violation of their fundamental rights.

It was reliably reported that Rehman's effigy was burnt in front of her besieged house, while traffic and roads leading to her house were blocked for several hours by shock troops from the PPP stronghold, Lyari. Her vilification was allowed to go unchecked even before this incident. Graffitti threatening her with physical decapitation if she "violated party discipline" was repeatedly sprayed outside her house. We not only condemn such resort to terror,but also demand that the President and the Prime Minister order an inquiry into the siege of Ms. Rehman's house and take swift and appropriate action against those responsible for resorting to terror in the name of a protest.

Since the attack on October 22 there has been no inquiry nor has there been any condemnation from the senior leadership of the PPP. We the undersigned demand an immediate inquiry in to the incidence of intimidation against Sherry Rehman and an unequivocal condemnation of this event and of the practice of intimidation from all political parties especially the PPP, which considers itself the standard bearer of democracy in Pakistan.


Asma Jehangir (President, Supreme Court Bar Association), Justice retired Fakhruddin G. Ebraheem, Tahira Abdullah( Human Rights activist), Justice Majida Rizvi, Hameed Haroon Ceo Dawn, Zubeida Mustapha journalist, Najam Sethi Editor Friday Times, Nusrat Javed anchor and analyst,Kamran Shafi (columnist)Irfan Hussain columnist, Dr Ayesha Jalal (Historian)Dr Meekal Ahmad Economist, Parvez Hoodbhoy educationist, Dr. Ayesha Siddiqua(author), Khawar Mumtaz( Shirkatgah) Shehzad Nawaz, Anis Haroon (Chairperson Commission on the Status of Women), Mohammad Malick(editor), Miariann Babar(journalist)Hamid Mir(anchor/columnist)Akmal Hussain (Economist)Ahmar Bilal Sufi, Salman Akram Raja (lawyer)Samina Khan(Sungi), Mohammad Ziauddin editor, Amir Mateen journalist, Imtiaz Gul journalist, Dr Tariq Rehman(linguist).Fawzia Naqvi Soros Foundation,Quatrina Hussain(anchor) Absaar Alam (journalist), Omar Qureshi editor,Nasim Zehra (journalist/anchor),Babar Sattar Lawyer, Ahmar Bilal Sufi lawyer Dr Dushka Sayed Historian, Fareeda Shaeed (shirkat gah), Abbas Rasheed Columnist, Absaar Alam(journalist), Najma Sadeque, Hassan Abbas Columbia University, Zeenia Shaukat, Ali Karamat (PILER), Najma Sadeque, Haris Khalique(Activist), Mukhtar Ahmad Ali Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI),Fauzia Minallah Human Rights Activist, Aqsa Khan, former ambassador Riaz Khokhar , former Ambassador Humayun Khan, Shamshad Ahmad, Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel, Raza Rumi columnist, , Tasneem Ahmar UKS, Ambreen Ajaib Bedari, William Parvez (Pattan), , Mohammad Tahseen South Asian Partnership,

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Latest Signatures

  • 16 October 201550. Muhammad Azhard
  • 10 October 201549. Agha Imranh
    I support this petition
  • 15 July 201548. Nadeem A
    This is indeeed deplorable
  • 23 June 201547. Tariq I
    strongly condemn the attack on sherry
  • 17 April 201546. Baseer N
    I support this petition
  • 15 April 201545. Sarah S
    I support this petition
  • 07 April 201544. Raziq M
    Amazing Woman
  • 08 February 201543. Naveed K
    I support this petition
  • 06 January 201542. Shehryar A
    I support this petition
  • 08 October 201441. Rukhsana R
    I support this petition
  • 21 August 201440. Yasmin I
    strongly condemn attack on sherry
  • 29 July 201439. Ahmed Jamalm
    I support this petition
  • 16 April 201438. Naveed D
    I support this petition
  • 25 March 201437. Marvin Gw
  • 20 February 201436. Jahandad K
  • 09 February 201435. Aman Urr
    Shame on us as a nation! I am no fan of Sherry but condemn any assault on her for her views. She has the same rights as me and any other citizen of Pakistan, no matter where in the spectrum her views fall.
  • 31 January 201434. Khurshid H
    Women Prisoners Welfare Society
  • 30 January 201433. Salahud Dina
    I support this petition
  • 24 December 201332. Amina Nasimj
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 201331. Qurat Ula
    It is deplorable... but then who is safe today... ? Can you imagine the plight of common citizens !!
  • 14 October 201330. Akmal A
    The petition is convincing. I agrre with it.
  • 13 September 201329. Hameed M
    Wonderful Lady
  • 30 July 201328. Nisar K
    though in her stint she conveniently forgot others who were harassed
  • 03 July 201327. Sikander S
    Fascist Regime
  • 28 March 201326. Khawar M
    I support this petition
  • 03 March 201325. Ehsan Ahmedseharpresidentruralmedianetworkp
    I condemn the harrasment of Sherry Rehman and demand of goverment for her protection.
  • 02 October 201224. A Hn
    I support this petition

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Kent CowanBy:
Petition target:
Parliament of Pakistan


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