Two more human rights lawyers assassinated in Pakistan

February 9, 2013

The Asian Human Rights Commission (regional NGO) reports that two prominent lawyers have been assassinated in targeted killings on 2 February 2013.

Mr. Malik Jarrar 47, a Supreme Court lawyer, was shot dead in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Paktoonkha province by unknown persons, riding a motorcycle. He was on his way to pick up his two sons from school. Mr. Jarrar was the former vice chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Another prominent lawyer, Mr. Mian Muhammad Tariq 55, was also shot dead in similar manner in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province. He was shot dead by unknown assailants when he was parking his car inside his apartment building.

Mr Malik’s was probably a sectarian killing as he was from the Shia sect, the second largest sect of Islam which is under attack by the Taliban and other fundamentalist Sunnis who had declared them as Kafir (infidel) and liable to be killed. In the recent days four prominent Shia were assassinated by unknown persons in Peshawar.

The legal fraternity of the whole country organised a two-day boycott of courts in protest of killings. The lawyers see in the killings of their colleagues the total failure of the government to for maintaining the rule of law in the country.

In the last week four workers of one NGO, HANDS, working to provide health facilities and food rations to poor fisherfolk, were abducted by unknown persons but the government has failed to recover them. Persons who work in favour of human rights, which is deemed contrary to the interests of radical Islamist groups face considerable threat, as may be noted in the killings in 2011 of the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, and the Federal Minister of Minority Affairs, Shabaz Bhatti, who were targeted for their efforts to protect minorities, and their opposition to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws.

So far 87 journalists had been killed in Pakistan since 2000. In the year 2012, eight journalists were killed while performing their official duty.

The irresponsible attitude of the government towards the security and protection of the human rights defenders and the appeasement policy towards the Muslim fundamentalists groups can be judged by the government’s refusal to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders to visit the country. The government, after ratifying the UN ICCPR has accepted a recommendation to do so.

source: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-039-2013

One Response to “Two more human rights lawyers assassinated in Pakistan”

  1. Elena Pavlidou Says:

    Sad how differences in opinions and religious beliefs have to be settled by assassinations..


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