Manzoor Pashteen released from jail
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Manzoor Pashteen has been released from jail Tuesday, after a court granted him bail.
Pashteen was taken into custody on charges of sedition, hate speech, incitement against the state and criminal conspiracy.
The Pashtun rights activist was arrested in a case registered against him at the City Police Station in Dera Ismail Khan on January 18 under sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 124 (sedition), and 123-A (condemning the creation of the country and advocating the abolishment of its sovereignty) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Later, a sessions court in Tank district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) had granted bail to the PTM chief, while also granting him bail in a similar case by a Dera Ismail Khan court. Pashteen’s bail applications in two other cases — also pertaining to sedition — were approved by the DI Khan court on February 8.
After walking free Pashteen said his arrest was "not going to stop me from raising my voice for Pashtun rights".
Footage posted on social media showed Pashteen standing through the sunroof of a car and addressing hundreds of young supporters as they chanted and showered him with rose petals.
Pakistan's Pashtun heartlands were once plagued by violence and militancy, though army operations have dramatically improved security both there and across the country in recent years. But the PTM claim these operations came at a heavy price, with soldiers using enforced disappearances and targeted killings against civilians. Authorities have repeatedly denied the claims and cracked down on the rights group.