Posts Tagged ‘Sabeen Mahmud’

Pakistan: the recent killing of Zaki and the non-progress in the case of Perveen Rehman

May 10, 2016

Pakistan remains one to the worst places for human rights defenders as they are threatened by both religious extremists and powerful economic interests, while the State is either unwilling or too weak to stop this trend. A recent example is that of human rights defender Khurram Zaki who was killed on 7 May 2016 by four unidentified gunmen who opened fire at a restaurant in Karachi, killing him and wounding two others. That government efforts to find the killers are unlikely to yield result is shown in the follow-up in the case of human rights defender Perveen Rehman, who was killed on 13 March 2013 (see below). Read the rest of this entry »

Pakistan: human rights defender Sabeen Mahmud shot dead – others threatened

April 27, 2015

Sabeen Mahmud has been killed after hosting a discussion at her cafe [Alia Chughtai / Al Jazeera]

Having just published a post on the killing of (environmental) human rights defenders in which Latin America figures highly [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/killings-of-environmental-human-rights-defenders-up-again-compared-to-last-year/], I feel that drawing attention to the situation in Pakistan is equally necessary:

As reported by many newspapers including Al-Jazeera (Asad Hashim on 25 April) Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent Pakistani human rights defender, has been shot dead, shortly after hosting an event on Balochistan’s “disappeared people”, in the southern city of Karachi. Mahmud, 40, was the director of T2F [The Second Floor], a café and arts space that has been a mainstay of Karachi’s activists since it opened its doors in 2007. She was one of the country’s most outspoken human rights advocates. Mahmud was shot four times at close range and pronounced dead on arrival at the National Medical Centre hospital on Friday 24 April at 9.40pm.

Mahmud and her mother were on their way from an event (“Unsilencing Balochistan,” hosted at T2F, with Baloch human rights activists Mama Qadeer, Farzana Majeed and Muhammad Ali Talpur) when her car came under fire from unidentified gunmen, according to police. Her mother was also shot twice, but was out of immediate danger, hospital officials said.

The Voice of Baloch Missing Persons organisation, which both activists belong to, says that more than 2,825 people have “disappeared” in this way since 2005. They allege the disappearances, which are mostly of Baloch rights activists and students, have been carried out by the Pakistani government and its powerful ISI intelligence agency, a charge the agency denies.

Sabeen was a voice of reason, pluralism and secularism: the kind of creed that endangers the insidious side of constructed Pakistani nationalism,” Raza Rumi, a rights activist who escaped an assassination attempt in March 2014 and now lives in the United States out of fear for his life, told Al Jazeera.

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