Advocate Ehsan Ali, prominent Gilgit-Baltistan lawyer, arrested for sharing ‘derogatory’ Facebook post

Gilgit: Advocate Ehsan Ali, President of Supreme Appellate Court Bar Association and ex-Chairman of Awami Action Committee, was arrested last night from his house in Gilgit.

The detention came in relation to a case registered against him for sharing ‘derogatory content’ posted by someone on the famous social media network, Facebook.

The arrest was made on complaint of a resident of Khomer, Gilgit, who had approached the police to register a case against the prominent, progressive, human rights lawyer.

Advocate Ehsan had removed the content – a photograph related to the anti-government government protest in Iran, and he had also posted an explanatory note, explaining the ‘rationale’ behind sharing the post. He had also apologized to the people who found the post derogatory, and whose sentiments were hurt. He had later met prominent clerics in the region to explain his position.

During the last couple of weeks, wall-chalking against Advocate Ehsan Ali had appeared in Gilgit, demanding his arrest, and accusing him of sharing anti-religious content on Facebook, and creating sectarian disharmony. Ehsan Ali has rejected these allegations, and said that he is one of the biggest proponents of peace and harmony in the region, and he has practically worked to unite people from different schools of thought.

Advocate Ehsan Ali, a leftist leader, is known across the region as a human rights defender. He had played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Awami Action Committee, a group of around two dozen political and religious parties, and peacefully mobilizing tens of thousands of people across Gilgit-Baltistan in April 2014, forcing the federal government to cancel a decision related to withdrawing of subsidy on wheat.

The movement spearheaded by Advocate Ehsan Ali, as Chairman of Awami Action Committee, was instrumental in bringing people from different sects and factions together, and creating a peaceful atmosphere in the region, by promoting religious harmony and tolerance.

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