Maulana Hidayatur Rehman Prevented From Going Before Judge

Maulana Hidayatur Rehman Prevented From Going Before Judge
Leader of Gwadar's Haq Du Tehreek (HDT) Maulana Hidayatur Rehman was arrested from the premises of Gwadar district court earlier today (Friday) where he had come to appear before a judge to apply for pre-arrest bail. Rehman has been nominated in at least 20 first information reports (FIRs).

The HDT is an indigenous protest movement in Gwadar which had announced a district-wide sit-in since late December last year. The police cracked down on the protesters, but to little avail as the protests continued despite electricity blackouts and communications network outages.

Lawyers and civil society members present at the Gwadar district court protested the heavy handed attitude of security forces, and tried to prevent the armed personnel from taking Rehman away. President of the Gwadar bar association, Meraj Baloch, strongly condemned the incident and reiterated that Hidayatur Rehman had come voluntarily to present himself before the court. "It was his legal right [to appear before the court] but this right has been usurped from him", advocate Meraj Baloch said. "This is contempt of court", he added.

Prior to his arrest, Maulana Hidayatur Rehman spoke to the media and said that the government's response to the legitimate demands of Gwadar's protesters shows that the state is only concerned with the land of Gwadar, and does not care about the people of Gwadar.

The author hails from Gwadar, Balochistan, and is a student of journalism.