BREAKING: Persecuted humanist, Gulalai Ismail, safe in United States

  • post Type / Campaigns
  • Date / 19 September 2019

Humanists International is able to confirm officially that Gulalai Ismail is now safe.

  • Humanists International Board member, Gulalai Ismail, has been on-the-run from the Pakistan authorities since her initial detention on October 2018
  • Humanists International has been at the forefront of calling for international action to secure her release
  • Confirmed: Gulalai is on-track to be granted asylum in the United States

Ismail, a human rights activist and humanist, from Pakistan, was first detained on 12 October 2018 as she returned to Islamabad from a Humanists International meeting in London. Following her detention, Humanists International – and other humanist organisations around the world – led an active campaign to raise awareness of her persecution.


Humanists International Board member, Gulalai Ismail

In a special message to Humanists International, Ismail commented:

“I have arrived safely in the United States, and I am on track to get asylum here where I can be safe.

“The last few months have been awful. I have been threatened, harassed, and I am lucky to be alive.

“I need you to know how immensely grateful I am to all of you, and to the wider humanist family around the world; by continuing to raise my case and making sure that authorities in Pakistan could not forget about me.

“The work of Humanists International was key in making sure that the authorities in Pakistan were held to account. I am incredibly grateful to all of you who helped.”

Gary McLelland, CEO of Humanists International

Speaking after the news, Humanists International CEO Gary McLelland, commented:

“This is fantastic news. We have been working for almost a year to ensure Gulalai’s safety, so this news could not be more welcome.

“Working with other humanist organisations, NGOs, governments and international agencies, we were able to raise awareness of Gulalai’s situation.

“This morning we celebrate this amazing news. However, later we will continue our important work to protect other humanists at risk around the world.”

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