Press release

Pakistani lawyer and human rights campaigner targeted following anti-corruption role

A leading human rights lawyer has been banned from leaving Pakistan, raising fears he will be targeted after holding a role in the previous Pakistani Government focused on investigating political corruption.

Shahzad Akbar, who has run campaigns against drone strikes in Pakistan and represented people facing torture, disappearance and the death penalty, had until January this year served as an Advisor in the Pakistani government responsible for anti-corruption efforts.

It was revealed in the press yesterday that Mr Akbar has been placed on a no-fly list, despite there being no known charges against him.

Today the human rights organisation Reprieve issued an urgent warning on behalf of Mr Akbar, and called for the travel ban to be rescinded.

Mr Akbar was a Reprieve Fellow and continues to work to challenge human rights abuses alongside NGOs in Pakistan and around the world.

Reprieve said:

“Shahzad Akbar is a fearless campaigner for human rights and against state corruption. This travel ban is a chilling sign he may be persecuted for his work holding power to account. Restricting his liberty in this way would undermine the rule of law and impede his vital work as a human rights defender”.