The World Medical Association expressed its deep concern regarding the detention of Dr. Yasmin Rashid, a distinguished physician in Pakistan in a letter sent today to local authorities. Dr. Rashid, a 70-year-old medical professional with an exemplary record of service, is currently in administrative detention, allegedly for her “inflammatory speech” during the crackdown on the riots on the 9th of May.
The WMA believes that the detainment of Dr. Yasmin Rashid for expressing her opinion constitutes a violation of the fundamental human right to freedom of speech, as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We call upon the relevant authorities to drop all charges related to her freedom of expression and to ensure that justice is administered fairly and impartially, adhering to the principles of fair trial rules enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Pakistan.
Despite her own battle with breast cancer, diagnosed in 2020, Dr. Rashid continued to serve her community. We have learned that the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has granted permission for her to receive cancer-related treatment while in detention. The WMA urges the authorities to closely monitor her situation and ensure that she receives the necessary and desired medical care for her cancer.
“Dr. Yasmin Rashid’s case exemplifies the importance of protecting freedom of expression and upholding the fundamental rights of individuals, including access to appropriate medical care. We urge the relevant authorities to consider Dr. Rashid’s case with the utmost care and ensure that justice prevails.”, said Dr. Lujain AlQodmani, WMA President.