Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced on Friday the arrest of 33 former Prime Minister Imran Khan supporters who were involved in protests against Khan’s May 9 arrest. Sanaullah stated in a press conference that the protesters have been handed over to the Pakistani Army and will face trial in military court. The minister claims the 33 arrested were all involved in crimes against army officials, such as ‘attacking army installations.’ He also confirmed that there have been 3946 arrests in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
The arrests are all in regard to the violent protest that broke out on May 9. Many Khan supporters have turned against the military since Khan’s arrest. There have been courthouse raids, military base break-ins and arson against military officials’ homes.
Despite the allegations, Imran Khan has condemned the violence and insisted the attacks on official buildings were a ‘planned attack by the current government.’
This crackdown on opposition supporters by the government has been ongoing since its initial attempted arrest of Khan in March. Since then there have been claims the government is responsible for a media crackdown, evidenced by the disappearance of 2 Pakistani journalists.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that Pakistani journalists covering the fallout of Khan’s arrest and release have been subject to arrests, attacks and surveillance.