Attacks by Islamist militants resulted in fewer deaths in Pakistan in 2018 than in recent years. The government cracked down on members and supporters of political parties. The militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. The government has done little to stop such forced marriages. Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, one of the world’s largest populations facing execution. Their work has led to significant change. In the campaign, Khan pledged to make economic development and social justice a priority. At least 511 individuals have been executed since Pakistan lifted the moratorium on death penalty in December 2014. The TTP claimed responsibility for all the attacks. Violence against transgender and intersex women in Pakistan continues. االسلام عليڪم اسين سڀ ملي جھلي ڪري ڪنھن به مزلوم جي مدد ڪيون انساني حق بڻجي ٿو خداجي راھ ۾ انسان جي مدد ڪيو Press release HRCP elects new council Demands that state improve its human rights record Lahore, 9 November. However, strikes primarily targeting law enforcement officials and religious minorities killed hundreds of people. The militant group Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. Human Rights Watch | 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor | New York, NY 10118-3299 USA | t 1.212.290.4700 Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in … On concluding its 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM), the general body of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called on the state to improve its human rights record—in particular to protect freedom of expression and to […] Justice Tahira Safdar was appointed as the chief justice of Balochistan High Court, becoming the first woman ever appointed chief justice of a high court in Pakistan. Climate change and its impact on Pakistan featured more prominently in public discourse. The death penalty is mandatory for blasphemy, and 40 people remained on death row at time of writing. By Vatican News. On April 12, 20 people were killed, and 48 injured in an improvised explosive device attack in a market in Quetta, Balochistan, targeting the Hazara community. The vaccination campaign resumed after the government launched an awareness campaign and asked social media platforms to remove anti-vaccine content. 2.7M likes. On election day on July 25, 31 people were killed in a suicide attack targeting a polling station in Quetta. On the same night, Asad Kharal, a broadcast journalist, was assaulted and injured in Lahore. Atif Mian said he stepped down because of “adverse pressure regarding my appointment from the mullahs and their supporters.”. Human Rights Watch received several credible reports of intimidation, harassment, and surveillance of various NGOs by government authorities in 2018. Counterterrorism laws also continue to be misused as an instrument of political coercion. Imran Ali was executed on October 17. Child sexual abuse remains disturbingly common in Pakistan with 141 cases reported in just Lahore, Punjab, in the first six months of 2018. Groups supporting the blasphemy law took to the streets to protest the decision of Aasia’s release, damaged public and private property, and threatened judges of the Supreme Court, government officials, and military leadership with violent reprisals. Women, religious minorities, and transgender people face violent attacks, discrimination, and government persecution, with authorities failing to provide adequate protection or hold perpetrators accountable. They face increasing social discrimination as militant groups and the Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) accuse them of “posing as Muslims.” The Pakistan penal code continues to treat “posing as Muslims” by Ahamdis as a criminal offense. Human Rights Watch Pakistan, Daraza. On September 1, Saluhddin Ayubi in Rahim Yar Khan district, Punjab was arrested for robbing a cash machine and soon died in custody. Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack. In May, authorities registered a criminal case for inciting violence and defaming state institutions against Gulalai Ismail, a women’s rights activist and Pashtun leader, following protests against the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl in Islamabad. Pakistan has not banned the use of schools for military purposes, or endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration as recommended by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2017. At least four transgender women were killed there in 2018, and at least 57 have been killed there since 2015. Early marriage remains a serious problem, with 21 percent of girls in Pakistan marrying before the age of 18, according to UNICEF. The Taliban and other armed militants killed and injured hundreds of people in a failed effort to disrupt the elections. At least 17 people remain on death row in Pakistan after being convicted under the draconian blasphemy law, and hundreds await trial. Pakistani law enforcement agencies were responsible for human rights violations, including detention without charge and extrajudicial killings. The same day, four people were killed and at least 32 injured, when the convoy of Akram Khan Durrani, a senior political leader of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), was targeted in a remote-controlled blast in Bannu district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. "Pakistan’s government intensified its clampdown on the media, political opposition, and nongovernmental organizations in 2019,” the group Human Rights Watch said … Activists allege that authorities had not brought perpetrators to account. Human Rights Watch | 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor | New York, NY 10118-3299 USA | t 1.212.290.4700 Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in … Kadafi Zaman, a Norwegian journalist, was arrested by police in July while covering a political rally and was beaten up. There was a lack of government accountability, and abuses often went unpunished, However, in September 2017, it led Organisation for Islamic Cooperation member states at the council in expressing concerns about the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya by the Myanmar military. Over 5 million primary school-age children in Pakistan are out of school, most of them girls. On July 9, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) blocked three television news channels—Capital TV, 24 News HD, and Abbtakk News Network—after they broadcast speeches of opposition leaders. His family claimed Ayubi, who had a mental health condition, had been tortured to death by the police. They also carried out unlawful attacks targeting civilians. In January, a transgender woman was killed in Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after being attacked on her way back from a music concert. Human Rights Watch said in its report released in 2014 that "Violence against women and girls – including rape, Honor killings, Acid attacks, Domestic violence and Forced marriage all remain serious problems in Pakistan. ... More than 10 cases of child abuse are reported daily in Pakistan. According to the local group Trans Action, 479 attacks against transgender women were reported in Khyber-Pakhunkhwa province in 2018. On July 21, nine people including six policemen were killed in two attacks in Dera Ismail Khan district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Human rights violations in the Balochistan province of Pakistan have drawn concern in the international community, being described by Human Rights Watch (HRW) as having reached epidemic proportions. Despite high levels of domestic violence, the parliament has failed to enact laws to prevent it and protect women." Human Rights Watch: Pakistan - Investigate 'Disappearance' of Activist. Blasphemy allegations and related rhetoric from both private actors and officials increased in 2018. Media outlets came under pressure from authorities against criticizing the government. Historically tense relations between Pakistan and India have shown no signs of improvement, with both countries accusing each other of facilitating unrest and militancy. The police officials involved were arrested and face murder charges. The rape of a 6-year-old girl in Sukkur district, Sindh, was confirmed by a medical report on August 10. In January, the rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari in Kasur, Punjab, led to nationwide outrage and prompted the government to promise action. In May, riots erupted in Mirpurkhas, Sindh, after a Hindu veterinary doctor was accused of blasphemy for allegedly providing medicines wrapped in paper printed with Islamic verses. A faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility, media reported. Illiteracy and ignorance of their rights is the main reason for the prevailing violation of human rights in the Country. 570 likes. In May, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on a US$6 billion bailout package for Pakistan. 55 likes. Pakistani activists estimate that there are about 1,000 “honor” killings every year. Since Pakistan was elected to the Human Rights Council in 2017, it has generally failed to take a strong stance on serious human rights situations. In May, a mob led by anti-blasphemy clerics attacked and destroyed two historic Ahmadiyya religious buildings. In August, in an important enforcement of laws to prosecute so-called “honor killings,” the parents of Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani social media celebrity who was murdered by her brothers in July 2016, were denied their request to “pardon” the perpetrators. Most of those facing blasphemy allegations are members of religious minorities. On July 1, PEMRA terminated a live interview with former President Asif Ali Zardari on GEO TV shortly after it began. The court said that a person with psychosocial disabilities cannot be executed. Imdad Ali and Kaniz Fatima, however, remained on death row at time of writing. GEO TV, a private television channel, was forced off the air or had its audience’s access restricted as punishment for editorials criticizing the government. They were effectively excluded from participating in the 2018 parliamentary elections: to vote, Ahmadis are required to declare they are not Muslims, which many see as a renunciation of their faith. However, witness accounts suggest that the police fired indiscriminately at the family’s car. Authorities do not allow independent monitoring of trials in military courts and many defendants are denied the right to a fair trial. The military tightened its control over the economy, foreign policy and national security, shrinking space for civil society to promote and defend human rights. He was badly injured but survived. Pakistan and China deepened extensive economic and political ties in 2019, and work continued on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a project consisting of construction of roads, railways, and energy pipelines. BAP politician Nawabzada Siraj Raisani was killed in the attack. Zaman was released after three days. Faisalabad [Pakistan], December 10 (ANI): Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) observed International Human Rights Day 2020 on United Nations theme Recover Better - Stand Up for Human Rights … On February 2nd, the Pakistan army once again used its favorite 'a pack of lies" phrase to reject the Human Right Watch (H.R.W.) While there may be progress budding in regard to human rights in Pakistan, the road to completely improved human rights will be long and difficult. In August, the national assembly’s standing committee on law and justice rejected a bill proposing to fix the minimum age of marriage of girls at 18. In January, the European Union’s High Representative Federica Mogherini welcomed the release of Aasia Bibi, calling on Pakistani authorities to ensure her safety and that of her family. Sajid Masih alleged that the police torture he endured while being held led him to attempt suicide, by jumping out of the interrogation room window. It was the second consecutive constitutional transfer of power from one civilian government to another in Pakistan. Human Rights Watch received several credible reports of intimidation, harassment, and surveillance of various NGOs by government authorities in 2018. Those on death row are often from the most marginalized sections of society. HRCP elects new council. Gul Bukhari, a journalist in Lahore, was abducted in June by unknown assailants and released after a few hours. After months in hiding, Ismail fled to the US, where she sought asylum. The militant group Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack. The Pakistani government did not amend or repeal blasphemy law provisions that provide a pretext for violence against religious minorities, as well as arbitrary arrests and prosecution. The government used the “Regulation of INGOs in Pakistan” policy to impede the registration and functioning of international humanitarian and human rights groups. In May, Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had spent eight years on death row for blasphemy, was released and allowed to rejoin her family in Canada. In August, militants attacked and burned down at least 12 schools in Diamer district of Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region. Child sexual abuse remains common. Human Rights Watch, New York, New York. The law grants individuals the right to self-identify as male, female, or a blend of genders, and to have that identity registered on all official documents, including National Identification Cards, passports, driver's licenses, and education certificates. In June, the European Union and Pakistan announced their 2019 Strategic Engagement plan, which includes cooperation on human rights. PAKISTAN 2 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2019 United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults; and the use of forced or compulsory child labor. A report by the Movement for Solidarity and Peace in Pakistan found that at least 1,000 girls belonging to Christian and Hindu communities are forced to marry Muslim men every year. Members of the Pashtun Tahhaffuz Movement (PTM) held protests demanding accountability for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. In August, the Punjab anti-corruption department accused police officers in Lahore of keeping suspects in a secret detention cell and torturing them. Early marriage remains a serious problem, with 21 percent of girls in Pakistan marrying before the age of 18, and 3 percent marrying before age 15. The government used its “Regulation of INGOs in Pakistan” policy to impede the registration and functioning of international humanitarian and human rights groups. May 05, 2020 - Targeted News Service. Pakistan and China deepened extensive economic and political ties in 2018, and work continued on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a project consisting of construction of roads, railways, and energy pipelines. Durrani survived. In response to such threats and attacks, journalists increasingly practice self-censorship. The law marked the first time that Pakistan recognized the right of women agricultural workers to unionize. In September, the new Imran Khan government appointed Atif Mian, a prominent academic belonging to the Ahmadiyya community, to join the government as economic adviser and then, almost immediately after, asked him to step down after the TLP and other Islamist groups objected to his appointment because of his religion. In August, the district administration in Lahore sealed an Ahmadiyya prayer center after the local clerics objected to Ahmadis being allowed to pray openly. Media outlets came under pressure from authorities to avoid reporting on several issues, including criticism of government institutions and the judiciary. Members of extremist groups, government officials, and politicians threatened the media and carried out violent attacks on journalists. Violence against women and girls—including rape, so-called honor killings, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriage—remains a serious problem. World Report 2013.The Pakistan section of the report has blamed the Pakistan army for committing human rights abuses in the country's largest province of Balochistan and assisting Islamic extremist groups that attack Shia Muslims and other religious minorities. The Pakistan Broadcasters Association, a private industry association, claimed that the channels were taken off air without giving them a reason or a hearing. Human Rights Watch received several credible reports of intimidation, harassment, and surveillance of various NGOs by government authorities. The report noted that human rights abuses in Pakistani Kashmir were of a “different caliber or magnitude” to those in Indian Kashmir and included misuse of anti-terrorism laws to target dissent, and restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly, and association. Human Rights Watch research found girls miss school for reasons including lack of schools, costs associated with studying, child bearing, and gender discrimination. Pakistan has more than 4,600 prisoners on death row, one of the world’s largest populations facing execution. A forensic report subsequently corroborated the torture claims. After Qandeel’s murder, the parliament passed a law closing the pardon loophole used by families to protect perpetrators. In July, Pakistan along with more than a dozen Muslim majority countries signed a letter supporting China’s policies in Xinjiang that ignored widespread repression of the region’s Muslims. In May, an estimated 1,500 farmers walked 140 km from the Indus Delta region to Thatta, Sindh, demanding that the government d… In July, the EU deployed an election observation mission to Pakistan that later issued a report highlighting significant curtailment of freedom of expression, allegations of interference in the electoral process by the military-led establishment, and politicization of the judiciary. Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the highest number of seats in parliamentary elections in July, and Khan took office as prime minister in August. On February 9, the Federal Investigating Agency arrested Rizwan-ur-Rehman Razi, a journalist and television host in Lahore, for social media posts that allegedly “defamed state institutions” in violation of Pakistan’s cybercrimes law. According to local groups, at least 65 transgender women have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province since 2015. Pakistan said the level of support for its candidacy reflected the confidence of the international community in its human rights credentials. According to media reports, at least 66 women were murdered in Faisalabad district in the first six months of 2018, the majority in the name of “honor.”. Women from religious minority communities remain particularly vulnerable to abuse. Christians and other religious minorities, as well as vulnerable and defenceless people in Pakistan, have been called to observe a "Black Day for Human Rights" across Pakistan on Human Rights Day, December 10, in protest against the increasing number of violence and violations of their inalienable rights. Amnesty International, International Commission of Jurists, Human Rights Watch issue joint statement. The provisions of Pakistan’s penal code, which perpetuate discrimination against the Ahmadis, a religious minority, remain unchanged. 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