Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Global bodies worry over Pakistani lawyers’ safety

September 25, 2019

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

The international legal fraternity has expressed serious concerns over the security of lawyers in Pakistan.

International lawyers organisations including the International Association of People’s Lawyers and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights have prepared a report highlighting the threats faced by Pakistani lawyers from fundamentalists and terrorists.

The report noted that at least 11 lawyers have been murdered in Pakistan since March 2018. Between 2004 and 2014, 310 lawyers were killed in five separate attacks.

Individuals including high-profile lawyer Saif-ul-Malook continues to face a high risk of death or physical harm.  Malook received death threats after his client was acquitted.

A less prominent case involves Shagufta Kauser and her disabled husband Shafqat Masih, who were accused of sending blasphemous text messages to a cleric. They have been imprisoned for five years now, face the death penalty and are also being represented by Malook.

Along with condemning the torture which Masih was subjected to at the hands of the police, Malook also expressed concerns that the judge who handed down the death sentence was intimidated by hard-line lawyers and religious leaders in the community.

Due to his representation of the people accused of committing blasphemy, Malook continues to receive death threats.

Long read: The forgotten faces and hidden history of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws




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