Marvi Sirmed

Marvi Sirmed is a human rights defender and journalist in Pakistan. She has worked extensively on women’s rights, the rights of minorities and freedom of expression. She has been an active part of non-violent resistance movements and rights based campaigns in Pakistan since more than twenty-five years.

Because of being vocal on human rights issues especially those considered contentious and sensitive in peculiar context of Pakistan’s conservative society & state, she has been attacked physically many times by the religious fanatics and repeatedly on the cyberspace by political zealots. In 2012 she narrowly escaped the bullets pumped into her vehicle in a roadside ambush. After standing up to a religious extremist and being attacked physically during a TV program, she had to face life threats once again in 2016 after which she had to relocate from Pakistan for a short while.

She is currently working as Special Correspondent for Daily Times alongside offering her expertise as freelance consultant to various international organisations like the UN, European Union and DFID on the subjects of electoral & parliamentary reforms, gender mainstreaming of governance & development, access to justice and rule of law.

She is an elected member of the Executive Council of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Insaani Haqooq Ittehad (Coalition for Human Rights), is Vice Chairperson of the digital rights organisation Bytes For All, and is member of networks focussed on peace and human rights.

Recognising her services for democracy and human rights, the President of Pakistan conferred upon her the National Human Rights Award in 2010.

She has been a prominent part of various fact-finding missions on human rights issues concerning religious & ideological minorities. More recently, she was part of HRCP’s fact-finding mission on curbs on media and is coordinating another mission to ascertain facts of a conflict between Hindu community of Rawalpindi and government’s Evacuee Properties Trust Board regarding the shutting down of a Mandir.