Human rights: Pakistan Over 100 activists jailed for 7 years
A Pakistani court on Friday sentenced over 100 activists of a major religious group to seven years in jail for their involvement in violence during 2014 sit-in against the government of former premier Nawaz Sharif, local media reported.
An anti-terrorism court found 107 activists of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) guilty of damaging public properties and attacking law enforcing personnel in Sargodha district of northeastern Punjab province, according to local broadcaster Express News.
The convicts can challenge the judgement in the high court.
Tahir ul Qadri, the party leader and a religious scholar, was declared absconder in the same case, while 105 activists were acquitted for lack of evidence, the broadcaster said.
Noorullah Siddiqui, PAT spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that the party would challenge the verdict in high court.
"We don't want to comment on the verdict but it is our legal right to challenge it in the high court," Siddiqui said.
The PAT together with the then opposition and now ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had besieged the capital Islamabad for four months seeking resignation of Sharif against over rigging in 2013 general elections.
At least five people, including policemen, were killed and dozens injured in clashes between the activists and law enforcing agencies during the four-month long sit-in in the capital.