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.


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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