Ali Dayan Hasan

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Ali Dayan Hasan (Urdu: علی دایان حسن‎) is a Pakistani human rights activist. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington DC.

For 11 years - between 2003 and 2014, Hasan acted in various capacities for Human Rights Watch in South Asia.[1] He resigned his position as HRW's Pakistan director on May 1, 2014. Human Rights Watch views him as a "pioneering figure" in the internationalization of HRW and the broader international human rights movement.[2] His departure from HRW was accompanied by an unprecedented press release from the organization which explained his significance in the history of the international human rights movement.[3] The statement is reproduced in full below.[4]

Ali Dayan Hasan Departs Human Rights Watch[5]

(New York, May 3, 2014) – Human Rights Watch regrets to announce the departure of its Pakistan director, Ali Dayan Hasan, after 11 years with the organization.

Hasan joined Human Rights Watch in 2003. Over the past decade, he has been a pioneering figure in the organization’s internationalization efforts, providing inspiration to replicate the process more broadly across the international human rights movement.

With his background as a journalist, Hasan has shown what a gifted writer, tireless advocate, and constant media presence can accomplish in the most challenging of circumstances. In the face of public threats and at risk to himself, Hasan has been a powerful and relentless voice against abuses by government authorities and militant groups, and against complicity in such abuses by US and British authorities.

Hasan’s exemplary body of work – including on abuses in Balochistan, in support of the rights of Pakistan’s Muslim and non-Muslim religious minorities, and in defense of media freedoms – speaks for itself. The power of Hasan’s message struck at powerful rights abusers, and generated a huge media and Twitter following, another area in which he has been a pioneer for Human Rights Watch.

“Ali Hasan has been a constant and courageous defender of human rights in Pakistan over the past decade with Human Rights Watch,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “We will miss him greatly as he embarks on the next chapters of his professional life.”[6]

Hasan is currently a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Human Rights.[7] Previously he served a 2 year term on the WEF's GAC on Pakistan.[8] He also serves on the advisory boards of Jinnah Institute,[9] PeaceNiche[10] amongst other honorary positions.

He was previously a senior editor at Herald, Pakistan's premier political monthly magazine, a publication of the Dawn Group pf Newspapers.[11] In 2006, Hassan was also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Changing Character of War Program at the University of Oxford.Hasan speaks Urdu and English[12] He played a key role in investigating the brutal murder of Syed Saleem Shahzad.[13] The Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad instructed his wife to call Ali Dayan Hasan if he was kidnapped or killed.


External links[edit]

1. Division, Asia. "Ali Dayan Hasan | Human Rights Watch." Ali Dayan Hasan | Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch, 23 Nov. 2009. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. <>.
2. HEADLINES." DAWNCOM Dawncom Exclusive Interview Ali Dayan Hasan Comments. Ed. Washington DC., 28 Feb. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. <>.
3. Watch, Human Rights. "Ali Dayan Hasan | World Economic Forum - Ali Dayan Hasan." Ali Dayan Hasan. World Economic Forum, 26 Apr. 2011. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. <>.