Human rights attorney and political activist Jalila Haider was detained for over six hours at the Lahore airport.
An FIA official told SAMAA Digital that her name was placed on the ECL last November.
Haider told SAMAA Digital she is in “informal custody” at the airport. “When I reached the immigration counter, I was told that my name is on the Exit Control List,” she said.
She was going to attend a workshop at the University of Sussex in the UK.
“The FIA officials opened a website and told me that I am accused of being involved in anti-state activity,” she said.
She says the officials told her that her name was added to the ECL in November but she was never notified. Her flight was at 6:40am and she had been at the airport from 4am to around 10am.
After her release, she said officials told her her name wasn’t actually on the ECL and that she could take another flight.
They said it was an “unknown technical reason”. She has been allowed to leave the airport.
Her information has been sent to the Interior Ministry for clearance and officials said until her name is cleared, she isn’t allowed to leave the country.
Haider was recently included in BBC’s list of 100 Most Influential Women.
She specialises in defending women’s rights and provides free legal services to low-income women. She also founded ‘We the Humans’, a non-profit organisation working with local communities to provide opportunities for vulnerable women and children. She is the first female lawyer from the Hazara community.
A group of demonstrators gathered outside the airport holding to protest for her release.
With additional reporting by Riaz Ahmed in Lahore