Tree planted in St Albans’ Vintry Garden to commemorate Declaration of Human Rights

PUBLISHED: 10:08 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 29 May 2018

Mayor Mohammad Iqbal Zia with the St Albans Amnesty Group, Morna Mukhtar, Sasha and Dil.

Mayor Mohammad Iqbal Zia with the St Albans Amnesty Group, Morna Mukhtar, Sasha and Dil.

Archant

The St Albans branch of Amnesty International held a tree-planting ceremony in honour of a Pakistani lawyer who stood up against injustice.

In 1976 Mukhtar Rana, a former prisoner of conscience in Pakistan, planted a golden ash tree in the Vintry Gardens near the Cathedral. Mukhtar had been jailed and tortured for speaking up for human rights, before Amnesty International secured his release.

The St Albans Amnesty Group held a ceremony on Monday, May 21 in recognition of the imminent 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and planted an evergreen strawberry tree to replace the original ‘Justice Ash’.

Mukhtar Rana has since died, but his daughter-in-law Morna and his grandchildren Sasha and Dil attended the ceremony alongside Mayor Mohammad Iqbal Zia.

The Mayor said: ““It’s a great honour to have planted the tree in remembrance of Mukhtar Rana, my fellow countryman who had many struggles in his life but kept alive the issue of injustice.”

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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