Imran Khan: Protest held in Yorkshire over jailing over former cricket star turned Pakistan Prime Minister
Judge Humayun Dilawar is attending a training course in human rights and the rule of law at the University of Hull. He flew into the UK just days after Mr Khan was sentenced on corruption charges. Supporters of Mr Khan waved flags and carried placards criticising the university for hosting Mr Dilawar.
The protesters branded the event hypocritical and called for the release of the country’s former prime minister, who was ousted from office in 2022 and arrested in March. Protesters gathered on the university’s campus, in Cottingham Road. The university said it had no role in selecting the judges who attended the event, which is part of a regular series held since 2014.
The protesters carried placards branding the judge a ‘Killer of Justice’, with others calling for Mr Khan’s release. Another said: “Dilawar rewarded with vacation in UK on taxpayer’s money. Shame on you. Go back.”
Others waved the flag of Pakistan, as well as the red and green flag of Mr Khan’s Pakistan Movement for Justice (Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf, PTI) party. A number of speeches were given.
In as statement, the university said participants in its training course were selected by their high courts.
It said: “The University of Hull has been running human rights and the rule of law training for Pakistani judges since 2014. The current cohort has been selected by the Islamabad High Court, the Peshawar High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The university has no role in the selection of judges.”
Mr Khan, 70, was arrested last week after Mr Dilawar sentenced him to three years in prison following his conviction on corruption charges. Mr Dilawar said the former prime minister’s dishonesty had been established beyond doubt and he wilfully benefited at the state’s expense.
Mr Khan called on his supporters to take to the streets in protest in a video recorded before his arrest. His lawyer Intezar Panjotha said they were preparing to appeal the ruling in Pakistan’s high court. The former cricketer became a huge hero in Pakistan after leading his team to triumph in the 1992 World Cup. He came to power in 2018 promising reforms to help the country’s poor along with an anti-corruption drive.
He was ousted in March 2022 following a no-confidence vote and claimed the US was behind his removal due to his government’s friendly relations with China and Russia.