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Interviews

Attorney Owais Awan in conversation with the Nonhuman Rights Project

By Mickey Suzuki

“[Fighting for nonhuman rights] is so important symbolically. Doing this is actually raising our level of consciousness in understanding fundamental rights.” ‚Äď Attorney Owais Awan (@0waisawan)

In the video above, NhRP Executive Director Kevin Schneider speaks with Owais Awan, the attorney who, together with Cher and Free the Wild, fought for and won freedom and sanctuary for Kaavan the elephant.

Litigation brought by Owais prompted the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan to ‚Äúwithout any hesitation‚ÄĚ affirm the rights of nonhuman animals in May of 2020. Chief Justice Athar Minallah also ordered the release of all the nonhuman animals held in the Marghazar Zoo, including Kaavan. In November of 2020, Kaavan was freed to Lek Chailert’s Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Chief Justice Minallah‚Äôs decision relied in part on key decisions in the NhRP‚Äôs elephant rights cases and rightly referred to the NhRP’s elephant client Happy as an “inmate” at the Bronx Zoo, where she is held in solitary confinement.

To learn more about Free the Wild’s new campaign to end the suffering of four captive elephants in Karachi, Pakistan, ‚Äčvisit this page. To learn more about the NhRP’s client Happy, visit this page.

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