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We Stand with Gulalai Ismail

  • Published

    28 May 2019
  • Written by

    Peace Direct

Peace Direct condemns the recent charges brought against Gulalai Ismail by the Pakistani government

Peace Direct expresses our full solidarity with Gulalai Ismail, and we condemn the recent charges brought against her by the Pakistani government after she spoke out at a protest following a horrific crime committed against a 10-year-old girl.

On 22 May 2019, police in Islamabad, Pakistan filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Gulalai Ismail, founder of Peace Direct’s long-term peacebuilding partner organisation in Pakistan, Aware Girls. Gulalai, along with many other human rights defenders and members of the public that had recently spoken out against the abduction, rape and murder of a 10-year old girl, whose body was discovered on 21 May. Gulalai has since been charged with a number of offences, and blacklisted, which prevents her from travelling for 30 days.

We call for all charges against Gulalai to be dropped immediately.
We call for all those promoting peace, equality and human dignity using non-violent means to be able to exercise their activities free from fear and intimidation.
We call for the international community to join in solidarity condemning the charges against Gulalai.

Please sign this international petition and share this message with others in support of Gulalai.


These reports are deeply concerning. A dedicated peacebuilder, Gulalai should be free to carry out her valuable work without interruption or resistance. Limits to Gulalai’s freedom, as well as charges brought against her, limit her ability to share her knowledge and increase young people’s understanding of the options for turning away from violent ideologies in the conservative tribal province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Since being founded, Aware Girls has changed the lives of over 10,000 young people, giving them an alternative to violence and showing that peace is possible. They deliver training sessions to young people on a variety of issues, from non-violence, to the political participation of girls and women. Simply put, restricting the work of peacebuilders like Gulalai not only threatens young people’s futures, but also those of their families and communities, who rely on them to be active promoters of peace in their own lives.

“We take inspiration from peacebuilders like Gulalai. It takes tremendous courage to turn your back on violence and to speak out, which is why it is urgent that all charges against Gulalai be dropped immediately so that she can return to her important and courageous work. Worryingly, we are seeing an increasing global trend of pressures against peacebuilders and those who speak up for justice, equality and human rights. Wherever they are, we are committed to speaking out on their behalf and protecting their right to work for peace in the ways that meet the needs of their communities.” - said Dylan Mathews, CEO at Peace Direct.


Please sign this international petition and share this message with others in support of Gulalai.



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