Pakistan/UK: A Landmark Conference for Universal Rights and Secularism and against Fascism

November 30, 2018

One Law for All Logo

The 25 November International Conference on Sharia, Segregation and Secularism in London celebrated the 10th anniversary of the founding of the One Law for All campaign in the UK.

The conference was a landmark event in the fight against all forms of fascism and in defence of universal rights and secularism with leading activists in the fight against the far-Right – including religious fundamentalisms of all stripes – from 24 countries and the Diaspora, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Europe, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kurdistan, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Serbia to Sudan, Tunisia and the United States.

In her welcome address, Conference Organiser Maryam Namazie reiterated how women are the first targets of fascist, fundamentalist and other far-Right movements and are leading the opposition to the sustained backlash against women’s rights and secular values – and in many cases continue to win victories in the most adverse circumstances. She stressed the urgency of secularism as a minimum precondition for women’s and minority rights.

Centre for Secular Space Director Gita Sahgal’s opening keynote address emphasised the precious heritage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights noting that Indian and Pakistani women fought for the clause on right to choice in marriage – the foundation for many struggles taking place on family laws and equality in marriage today. Muslims from Pakistan and India also voted for the right to religious freedom, including the freedom to leave religion.

Asia Bibi’s lawyer Saif Ul Malook spoke about the Asia Bibi case in his keynote address. As mentioned in a DW report on the conference, Ul Malook spoke of the Pakistani constitution and its secular credentials and his childhood when Christians and Muslims lived peacefully together in Pakistan and how a minority are behind the intolerance seen today. He was given a standing ovation for his courage in defending Asia Bibi and prosecuting Mumtaz Qadri, the man who murdered Salman Taseer.  Ul Malook said he had no regrets.

The Conference passed a resolution in solidarity with Asia Bibi and her lawyer and the Judges who had the courage to strike down her conviction for blasphemy, called for asylum for Asia Bibi, the release of all those imprisoned for blasphemy and an end to blasphemy laws everywhere. (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS) (DEUTSCH) (DEUTSCH) (NEDERLANDS) (VLAAMS)  (POLSKI)

Avocats Sans Frontières France – ASF FranceSOS Chrétiens d’Orient, L’Observatoire international des avocats en danger et Francois Zimeray, avocat et ancien Ambassadeur pour les droits de l’Homme, au soutien de notre confrère pakistanais Saif Ul Malook, avocat d’Asia Bibi, menacé de mort dans son pays pour avoir fait acquitté sa cliente.

La Mairie de paris lui apporte également son soutien, ainsi que Vincent FillolaIngrid Metton – Avocate et Mechtilde Carlier.


(Avocats Sans Frontières France – ASF France Facebook, 06/12/18)

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