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Imaan Mazari

HRD, Lawyer

Imaan Mazari is a human rights layer and woman human rights defender who has been active in supporting victims of violence and persecution to seek legal redress. She is a vocal advocate for the rights of persecuted religious and ethnic communities and against human rights violations and abuse especially by the Pakistan military and security forces.

Human rights defenders in Pakistan are subjected to a range of attacks and abuses, including extra-judicial killings and violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, brutal sectarian violence, abduction and enforced disappearance, surveillance, threats and judicial harassment. Many HRDs have even had their offices attacked or burnt down and their colleagues killed. There exists a culture of impunity for killings of HRDs and this has emboldened perpetrators and fuelled further violence against them. Behind the veil of national security, the government continues to muzzle those critical of it’s policies and of Islam. In addition to this, HRDs are further threatened and intimidated by various non-state actors such as militants and interest groups.


Defenders investigating human rights violations in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) face a particularly hostile climate, as they are targeted by security agencies, religious groups, militants, and armed gangs. Women HRDs face particular risks due to their gender. Besides threats by security agencies and armed groups, WHRDs can receive threats from their own family members, who exert pressure on them to quit their human rights work, or be threatened with the safety of their children. While the transgender community in Pakistan has made some strides in recent years, attacks on transgender HRDs remain widespread and the violence has been increasing. HRDs working on religious freedom and minority rights are also targeted.