Daily Archives: 01/12/2021

STRATEGIES OF SILENCE: Repression of Chinese human rights defenders, lawyers & journalists




Pakistan: Sindh Bar Council secretary shot dead in Karachi


Sindh Bar Council secretary shot dead in Karachi

The secretary of the Sindh Bar Council, Irfan Ali Mahar, 40, was shot dead Wednesday morning near his residence in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, the police said.

The victim left his house early morning to drop his children to school. On his way back he was attacked by two men on a motorcycle.

Mahar was shot multiple times. He succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital. His body has been moved to the hospital for a post-mortem examination.

The police have reached the crime site and cordoned it off. Evidence is being collected and people in the area are being questioned. According to initial reports, the men didn’t try to rob the victim. They directly shot him.

Mahar was a lawyer at the Sindh High Court. The bar council has extended condolences on the incident and demanded the perpetrators be immediately arrested.

Lawyers across Sindh have boycotted courts today (Wednesday) to protest against the attack.


Egyptian liberals outraged by lawyer’s blasphemy 5 year sentence


The sentencing of lawyer and Islamic thinker Ahmed Abdo Maher to five years in prison over remarks defaming Islam has sparked controversy in Egypt, accentuating the divide between liberals and ultra-conservatives.

A prominent Egyptian lawyer and Islamic thinker has been sentenced to five years in prison with hard labor on charges of “contempt of religion” and “stirring up sectarian strife.”  

The Nov. 17 court decision to imprison Ahmed Abdo Maher over “anti-Islamic” comments posted on his social media accounts and views expressed during an Aug. 26 TV interview sparked controversy on social media, prompting calls by Egypt’s liberals for the abolishment of the country’s blasphemy laws. In the interview broadcast on El Mayadeen TV, Maher had described the Islamic nation as “static” and without innovation and said that enlightenment requires courage. 

The ruling by the Nozha Misdemeanor Court (an emergency state security court) against Maher came after lawyer Samir Sabri filed an urgent legal complaint with the Supreme State Security and the Public Prosecutor against Maher, accusing him of “defaming Islam.”  

Sabri, notorious for filing lawsuits against religious figures and celebrities, accused Maher of “waging war on Islam” and “inciting Muslims to question their religion.” According to Sabri’s complaint, Maher had called for “altering the principles of Islam” and urged Al Azhar to apologize for the Islamic raids of the past.

“Maher further attacked Islam by stating that there is no torture for the dead in their graves nor were the (Islamic) holy wars aimed at spreading Islam; rather, those were waged with the aim of enslaving women as Islam was not spread through those conquests,” read the complaint. 

The plaintiff stated that Maher had attacked Islam by disputing the timing of the annual fasting month of Ramadan. Days before the start of Ramadan, Maher had published a tweet claiming that what the Muslim faithful will observe in a few days “is in fact not Ramadan but a month that Islamic scholars had agreed on designating as the fasting month.”