Pakistan/LRWC: Prevent and Punish Unlawful Killings of Lawyers | Letter

April 24, 2018

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LRWC calls on the Government of Pakistan to fulfill its international law obligations to prevent and punish the unlawful killings of lawyers.  The LRWC letter refers to the unlawful killing of 61 lawyers in Pakistan that have not been remedied through investigations and trials resulting in the identification and punishment of the perpetrators. In addition Pakistan has not responded to the wave of murders with effective protection measures for lawyers. The impunity coupled with lack of preventative measures appear to contribute to the continuing wave of lethal attacks on lawyers in Pakistan.

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders who promote international human rights, the rule of law, and the integrity of legal systems through advocacy, education and legal research. LRWC is a volunteer-run NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC condemns the murder of lawyer Zainullah Khan that took place on 30 March 2018 in Swabi, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan. According to reports Zainullah Khan was shot and killed when he was returning home via Jehangira Road when unidentified attackers in a vehicle open fired at Mr. Khan killing him on the spot while the attackers escaped. Lawyers have called on the provincial government to provide safety to lawyers, Mr. Khan’s murder is one of many cases in which lawyers have been targeted and killed in the area.

LRWC is alarmed by the continued targeted assassinations of lawyers in Pakistan and the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators as a result of Government inaction.

Six lawyers killed in Pakistan in the past 11 months:

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