‘I can’t survive anymore in my country,’ says Saiful Malook after the acquittal of a Christian couple on death row for blasphemy
A Pakistani lawyer who is globally recognized for defending the country’s beleaguered religious minorities in blasphemy cases has made an emphatic appeal to the international community to help him relocate to an English-speaking country.
“My message for the world. I can’t survive anymore in my country. I want to shift to some English-speaking country,” Saiful Malook tweeted late on June 3.
His tweet came hours after he had won the acquittal of Christian couple Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmaneul, who had been sentenced to death in 2014 on charges of sending blasphemous message from a mobile phone.
The lawyer was awarded the National Secular Society’s annual prize at its Secularism 2019 conference on May 29. The award was presented by the human rights barrister and NSS honorary associate Geoffrey Robertson QC.
In 2020, Malook was nominated by the International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) for the prestigious American Bar Association human rights award.
The OIAD is an institution of solidarity among lawyers whose goal is to provide judicial and material support. This project, co-financed by the European Union, was signed by the Italian National Bar Association, Conseil National des Barreaux, Spanish National Bar Association, and the Rome, Paris and Madrid Bars on April 22, 2016.
The purpose of the OIAD is to defend lawyers under threat and denounce situations in which the right to defense is put at risk. It will also track, through monitoring and all other available means, lawyers who are victim of threats, pressure, torture or any other kind of abuse.
Malook was also nominated for the Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award for his courage. He received a prestigious award from Britain’s National Secular Society in London.