WILPF International on Death Plot against Human Rights Defender Asma Jahangir
9 June 2012
On 4 June 2012, news was released of a death plot orchestrated by the Pakistani security forces against human rights lawyer and leading human rights defender Asma Jahangir. As agents of the State, such action would bring dishonour on the State of Pakistan.
WILPF calls upon the Pakistan authorities and leaders to ensure its compliance with its international human rights obligations and ensure that rights, of MS Jahangir, and all human rights defenders, are upheld.
Ms. Jahangir has been threatened many times in the past, however, this time the information was leaked from within Pakistan’s security infrastructure and is therefore believed to be credible and to be taken seriously. Jahangir contends that the plan to kill her had been driven at the “highest level” of state agencies, apparently angered by her recent efforts to highlight human rights violation by security forces in the restive province of Balochistan. Killings of human rights defenders in Pakistan have been on the rise over the last year, with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) implicated in many instances – including the killing of journalist Saleem Shahzad. Due to the real threat to Jahangir’s life, she is now forced to restrict her movements.
Ms. Jahangir has spent her 30 year career defending human and women rights, rights of religious minorities and vulnerable children in Pakistan. Her work has focused on fighting laws that punish victims of rape, deny women the right to divorce, encourage child labor and violate religious minorities’ freedom of speech. She has also campaigned against human rights abuses taking place in government and police custody in Pakistan including the fact that rape in police custody is widespread but vastly under-reported. She is a founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and has served as Secretary-General and later Chairperson of the organization. Internationally, Jahangir is recognized for her time served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur of Religion or Belief and as UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.
WILPF calls on the Pakistani authorities and leaders to take concrete action to honour their commitments to human rights. WILPF, with other human rights organisations, calls for a full and independent inquiry into the threats made, the identification of those responsible and the application of the appropriate legal sanction.
WILPF calls on the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to make all appropriate interventions to obtain assurances from the government of Pakistan that it will afford all necessary protection measures and report to the council the actions it is taking.
Please support Asma Jahangir and write immediately in English, Urdu, or your own language, calling on the Pakistan authorities to:
- Immediately provide effective security to Asma Jahangir.
- Promptly conduct a full investigation into alleged plot to kill her, including all individuals and institutions suspected of being involved, including the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
- Bring to justice all suspected perpetrators of attacks on human rights defenders, in trials that meet international fair trial standards and without recourse to the death penalty
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 JULY 2012 TO:
Asif Ali Zardari
Email: (via web form)
Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani
Prime Minister House
Fax: +92 51 922 13780 or +92 51 922 1596
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Chief of Army Staff
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
c/o Inter Services Public Relations,
Hilal Road, Rawalpindi, 46000
Salutation: General Kayani
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