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Ansar Burney

Ansar Burney is a prominent lawyer and human rights activist of Pakistan who has made headlines worldwide for his untiring efforts for civil rights and justice.

During General Zia’s military rule, he was a student leader who actively spoke against the Martial Law and was consequently sentenced with rigorous imprisonment on a number of occasions. His experience in prison made him realize about the plight of Pakistani prisons and the traumatic conditions of the prisoners, many of whom were absolutely innocent. These events left a lasting impression on him, and thus in 1980 he set up the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust, Prisoners Aid Society and Bureau of Missing and Kidnapped Persons.

The goals of these organizations include:

So far, the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust is said to have facilitated the release of more than 600,000 prisoners illegally held in Pakistan and abroad some of whom were illegally confined for over 50 years. Similarly about 20,000 persons had been released from mental asylums through similar efforts. In addition, about 100,000 children are said to be traced out through the Bureau of Missing Persons and safely delivered to their families.

Ansar Burney has played an active role in creating awareness about the abuse of child camel jockeys in UAE and has strived to recover and rehabilitate such children. For this he has earned the wrath of some vested interests in the form of life threats.

It was also Ansar Burney who raised money and fought a long battle with the Macedonian authorities for the return of bodies of innocent young migrants from Pakistan, who were murdered by the authorities to “impress America” and portrayed as terrorists. He had lodged a claim with the international court of justice in The Hague for $2m (£1,118,000) compensation for each of the six families.

For more information on Ansar Burney, visit the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust web site.

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