Support for researchers and students arrested in Pakistan

Published on 31 January 2020

Staff at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) have expressed their solidarity with researchers and students, including IDS alum Ammar Rashid (2011-12 MA Development Studies), who have been arrested in Pakistan following peaceful protests against the arrest of Pakistani political activist, Manzoor Pashteen, in Islamabad.

They are greatly concerned that Ammar, along with 22 other young leaders and scholars, have been detained and sent to prison without bail.

Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, said:

“We are deeply distressed by the news of Ammar’s and his colleagues’ arrests.”

“These researchers and students are committed to a democratic future in Pakistan, and the way they have been treated must not go unchallenged.  Censorship, the undermining of the right to free speech and the suppression of peaceful protest have no place in a democracy.”

“We stand in solidarity with Ammar and his colleagues, and call for their immediate release.”

Dr Shandana Khan Mohmand, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, and former tutor to Ammar Rashid, said:

“Ammar is a brilliant scholar and committed to a fairer, democratic and prosperous Pakistan.”

“Ammar and his colleagues work tirelessly and peacefully to speak out against injustices in Pakistani society and profile the plight of those who are marginalised, poor and oppressed.   Yet their efforts have been rewarded with an injustice and suppression that is deplorable.

“These young people should be celebrated not imprisoned, and I join with others to call for their immediate release.”


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