Tag Archives: European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights

Pakistan: 10th DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER 2020 (24-01-2020) WITH THE FOCUS ON PAKISTAN: A struggle to protect Pakistani lawyers, especially against Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism — BASIC REPORT

October 9, 2019

Background

Over the past several years lawyers in Pakistan have been subjected to acts of mass terrorism, murder, attempted murder, assaults, (death) threats, contempt proceedings, harassment and intimidation in the execution of their professional duties.  They have also been arrested, detained or tortured, and in some cases the family members of the murdered lawyer have also been murdered.  Some lawyers have been threatened with disbarment or had their homes raided by the police.  Sometimes Christian lawyers or members of minority sects have been assaulted or threatened with death.  The most notorious attack on Pakistani lawyers occurred on August 8, 2016 when terrorists attacked the Government Hospital of Quetta with a suicide bombing and shooting which resulted in the death of 56 lawyers.  Since there has been an alarming increase in the number of lawyers murdered, with nine reported over the past year.  More recently Saif-ul-Malook received serious death threats for representing Asia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy, as a result of which he was forced to flee temporarily to the Netherlands.

The perpetrators of these attacks have been terrorists, religious zealots, the police and unreported sources. There have also been reports that pro-government militias (which still exist today) have been behind some of the murders, and in some cases lawyers have been killed because they are Shia. In response to these repeated attacks, Pakistani lawyers frequently strike, demonstrate, protest and hold boycotts.

The life of an Advocate is at risk the moment he or she takes up a case. It does not matter if it is the opposing party or the very party that the lawyer is representing.

By its constitution of 1956, the official name of Pakistan is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. More than 96% of Pakistan’s 197 million citizens (2017) are Muslims, and Islam is the state religion, the overwhelming majority of whom are Sunni Muslims.  Pakistan  has also an important minority of Shi’ite Muslims as well as a number of other minority religions, including Christianity, whose followers are subjected to discrimination, violence and death, especially the misuse of blasphemy laws.  Among countries with a Muslim majority, Pakistan has the strictest anti-blasphemy laws.  The Pakistan Penal Code punishes blasphemy (Urdu: قانون توہین رسالت‎) against any recognized religion, providing penalties ranging from a fine to death.  From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people were accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused.  Between 1987 to 2017 at least 1,500 people were charged with blasphemy and at least 75 people involved in accusations of blasphemy were killed in Pakistan according to the Center for Social Justice.

Many people accused of blasphemy have been murdered before their trials were concluded, and prominent figures who opposed the blasphemy law have been assassinated.  In fact since 1990, 62 people have been murdered following blasphemy allegations.  According to one religious minority source, an accusation of blasphemy commonly exposes the accused, police, lawyers, and judges to harassment, threats, attacks and rioting.

Violence and the threat of violence are omnipresent in Pakistan, and according to the Ministry of Interior terrorism poses a significant threat to the people of Pakistan. The current wave of terrorism is believed to have started in 2000 and peaked during 2009.  According to a 2018 report by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, 23,372 Pakistani civilians and 8,832 Pakistani security personnel had been killed in the war on terrorism.  Pakistan is said to be a safe haven for a number of terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, it has been accused of giving aid to the Taliban and hosting terrorist camps, and therefore it is responsible for state-sponsored or state-condoned terrorism.

Pakistani law is based upon the legal system of British India, thus ultimately on the Common Law of England and Wales.  There are six Bar Councils in Pakistan which came into being as a result of enactment of Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act 1973. These Bar Councils regulate legal professionals across provincial, territorial and national levels.  They include the Bar Councils of: Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Islamabad, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as the Pakistan Bar Council, the national Bar association.

The cases mentioned in this report have been documented by Pakistani lawyers, the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), Zykyria Muiloo and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE).

DOTEL2020Pakistan.BasicDocumentDraft.TS-SR.25.9.2019

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-global-bodies-worry-over-pakistani-lawyers-safety/

https://concernedscientists.org/2019/10/pakistan-academic-still-incarcerated-for-blasphemy-for-the-past-five-years/

https://www.oneindia.com/india/no-escaping-pakistan-has-failed-to-curb-terror-funding-may-remain-in-greylist-2960748.html

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

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http://www.asianews.it/notizie-it/Asia-Bibi-parla-per-la-prima-volta:-Giustizia-per-le-vittime-innocenti-di-blasfemia-47895.html (ITALIANO)

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Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Lawyers on strike September 30th after lawyer assaulted

September 28, 2019

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(Punjab Bar Council Facebook, 29/09/19)

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2065225/1-global-bodies-worry-pakistani-lawyers-safety/

https://eldh.eu/2019/07/25/day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-24-january-2020-pakistan/

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

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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.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2065225/1-global-bodies-worry-pakistani-lawyers-safety/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1507410

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pakistani-Supreme-Court-acquits-a-man-accused-of-blasphemy-after-18-years-in-prison-48125.html

https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2019/09/eu-envoys-threat-of-trade-sanctions-played-crucial-role-in-asia-bibis-freedom/

https://vomcanada.com/pk-2019-09-26.htm

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Bibi_blasphemy_case

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

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http://www.evangeliques.info/articles/2019/09/02/pakistan-asia-bibi-appelle-a-une-reforme-des-lois-sur-le-blaspheme-20282.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.arte.tv/fr/afp/actualites/pakistan-un-condamne-mort-pour-blaspheme-acquitte-apres-18-ans-de-prison (FRANCAIS)

http://www.tynpanama.com/opinion/Pakistan-despues-de-18-anos-en-la-carcel-el-Tribunal-supremo-absuelve-a-un-hombre-acusado-de-blasfemia-h6689.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.repubblica.it/solidarieta/diritti-umani/2019/09/27/news/pakistan_dopo_18_anni_di_carcere_la_corte_suprema_assolve_un_uomo_accusato_di_blasfemia-237107605/ (ITALIANO)

https://www.vaticannews.va/de/welt/news/2019-09/pakistan-blasphemie-gesetze-gefangnis-gerechtigkeit-justiz.html (DEUTSCH)

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Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Lawyers strike is being observed today

August 26, 2019

Lawyers strike observed on August 26

The lawyers on Saturday announced observing a strike across the country on August 26 against the government references against judges, alleged harassment of legal fraternity and the Indian aggression in Kashmir.

The All Pakistan Lawyers Convention by Karachi Bar Association at the City Courts decided that the lawyers throughout the country as well as in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir will boycott courts on Monday and hold protest meetings at the bar rooms.

A resolution was passed at the convention, saying the references against Supreme Court’s Justice Faez Isa and Sindh High Court’s Justice K.K. Agha were “frivolous, concocted and malafide” and are tantamount to an attempt to muzzle and subjugate the independence of the judiciary.

The lawyers demanded putting the petition filed by Justice Isa, the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association against the references before a full court bench of the apex court for hearing by intelligible judges.

Criticizing the Supreme Judicial Council, they said they deprecated the language used against Justice Isa in the SJC Order disposing of reference no. 427 of 2019 and added the neutrality and impartiality of the SJC has come into question.

The lawyers also criticized Peshawar High Court’s contempt of court notice to the PBC vice-chairman Syed Amjad Shah and condemned the alleged forced disappearance of former vice president of Multan High Court Bar Association Wasif Naveed Qureshi.

Lawyers strike is being observed today

Lawyers Observe Countrywide Strike Today

https://pk.shafaqna.com/EN/AL/262690

https://fp.brecorder.com/2019/08/20190825511351/

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/518080-lawyers-observe-countrywide-strike

https://www.dawn.com/news/1501897/lawyers-boycott-courts-against-contempt-notice

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/518086-lhcba-lba-concerned-over-contempt-notice-to-pbc-vice-chairman

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/517919-contempt-notice-to-pbc-vice-chairman-kp-lawyers-observe-strike-some-say-none-above-law

https://fp.brecorder.com/2019/08/20190827512287/

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2043652/1-bench-bar-relationship-continues-fray/

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

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Contempt notice issued by Chief Justice Peshawar High Court to Syed Amjad Ali Shah learned Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council on raising his voice against the induction of incompetent & ill reputed Judges.The purpose of issuing notice to esteemed Vice Chairman is to sabotage the Lawyers movement for the independence of the Judiciary.The Punjab Bar Council vividly decry this act. In condemnation of above, the Lawyers of Punjab would completely boycott the courts & would not appear in the Courts on 26-08-2019.

Ch. Shah Nawaz Ismail Gujjar
Vice Chairman
Punjab Bar Council

Mr. Iftikhar Ibrahim Qureshi
Chairman Executive Committee
Punjab Bar Council.

 

(Punjab Bar Council Facebook, 25/08/19)

 

No photo description available.

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Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Lawyers to observe strike on Monday

August 25, 2019

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

The lawyers on Saturday announced to observe a strike across the country on August 26 against the government references against judges, alleged harassment of legal fraternity and the Indian aggression in Kashmir.

The All Pakistan Lawyers Convention by Karachi Bar Association at the City Courts decided that the lawyers throughout the country as well as in Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir will boycott courts on Monday and hold protest meetings at the bar rooms. A resolution was passed at the convention, saying the references against Supreme Court’s Justice Faez Isa and Sindh High Court’s Justice K.K. Agha were “frivolous, concocted and malafide” and are tantamount to an attempt to muzzle and subjugate the independence of the judiciary.

The lawyers demanded putting the petition filed by Justice Isa, the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association against the references before a full court bench of the apex court for hearing by intelligible judges. Criticizing the Supreme Judicial Council, they said they deprecated the language used against Justice Isa in the SJC Order disposing of reference no. 427 of 2019 and added the neutrality and impartiality of the SJC has come into question.

The lawyers also criticized Peshawar High Court’s contempt of court notice to the PBC vice-chairman Syed Amjad Shah and condemned the alleged forced disappearance of former vice president of Multan High Court Bar Association Wasif Naveed Qureshi. They also condemned the announced and unannounced restrictions on the media against fair reporting and asked journalists, civil society and political parties to align against these attacks on the freedom of speech.

The lawyers in the resolution also condemned the barbaric acts of the Indian government in Kashmir and expressed their complete solidarity with the people of the occupied valley in their struggle for legitimate rights and aspirations.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/517021-lawyers-to-observe-strike-on-monday

https://www.dawn.com/news/1501519/lawyers-to-boycott-sc-functions-to-be-held-for-retiring-judges

https://fp.brecorder.com/2019/08/20190825511351/

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

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Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Ex Vice President Multan Bar Council Forcibly Disappeared

August 13, 2019

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The Punjab Bar Council strongly condemns the missing of Mr. YAFIS NAVEED HASHMI Adv. Multan from blue area Islamabad. It is very strange that despite registration of an FIR ,no coercive measures have so far been taken by the law enforcement agencies for the recovery of the aforementioned person.The Pb B C demands all the concerned authorities to take immediate action and adopt all measures for recovery of Yafis Naveed. In condemnation of the above, the lawyers of Punjab will observe a full day strike on 20.08.2019 and will not appear in courts.

Ch. Shah Nawaz Ismail Gujjar
Vice Chairman

Mr. Iftikhar Ibrahim Qureshi
C E C
Punjab Bar Council.

(Islamabad High Court Bar Association,islamabad. Facebook, 19/08/19)

 

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

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Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: 2016 Quetta tragedy: PBC urges government to implement inquiry commission’s report

August 9, 2019

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Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Thursday demanded the government to implement, in letter and spirit, Inquiry Commission report on Quetta tragic incidents, wherein 54 lawyers were martyred and many other got seriously injured. All Pakistan Lawyers Representatives Convention was held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Syed Amjad Shah to discuss unfortunate and sad incidents of 8th August 2016 in Quetta. They said the enforcement agencies and concerned authorities till date failed to arrest culprits behind the incidents, and rather involved the author of the report, Justice Faez, in a baseless/false reference.

The PBC demanded immediate withdrawal of mala fide references against Justice Faez and Justice Agha, and requested the chairman Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) to exclude those members from the Council against whom references/complaints are still pending. It urged the chairman SJC to hear and decide those references which were filed with the Council earlier than the references against Justice Faez and Justice Agha.

The PBC demanded the chief justice of Pakistan to implement the decision of the Supreme Court regarding Faizabad Dharna (sit-in). The judiciary, SJC and Judicial Commission of Pakistan were urged to prevent interference of other institutions in their functioning and process of dispensation of justice and other functions assigned to them under the Constitution, while rendering decisions/judgments.

https://fp.brecorder.com/2019/08/20190809505465/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1498895

Remembering Quetta’s lawyers

https://www.dawn.com/news/1279894

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_2016_Quetta_attacks

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

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https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attentat_du_8_ao%C3%BBt_2016_%C3%A0_Quetta (FRANCAIS)

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Day of the Endangered Lawyer