Pakistan: Petition to Pakistan PM calling for law reform and protection for Malala and other activists

Amnesty International UK launched a new action today calling on Pakistan’s Prime Minister to protect people who speak out for human rights in Pakistan like Malala Yousufzai.

Gunmen opened fire on 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai and classmates as they were travelling home from school in Mingora town, in Swat valley on 9 October. She was hit by two bullets. The Taleban claimed responsibility for the attack, citing Malala’s writing about the rights of girls to education, as their motive.

Malala has campaigned for girls’ access to education in her region since she was 11 years old, and her father ran one of the last girls’ schools to defy a Taleban ban against female education in Swat valley. Both she and her family have received threats from the Taleban and the threats have been reiterated since she survived the attack, with vows that she is still not safe.

Amnesty has said that the attack on Malala highlights the extreme dangers faced by all human rights activists in northwest Pakistan. Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights activists in particular live under constant threats from the Taleban, other armed groups and some religious groups. Amnesty launched a petition today, which makes a series of calls on the government to provide safe guards for people who speak out.

The petition to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Raja Pervez, calls on the government to:

- Bring the perpetrators of the brutal attack on Malala Yousufzai, and other attacks on human rights defenders, to justice. Suspects must be tried in fair procedures and without resort to the death penalty, while sending a clear message that perpetrators of abuses are not above the rule of law;
- Publicly affirm support for human rights defenders and their right to carry out their work free from threats, attacks and intimidation;
- Ensure protection to Malala and her family, classmates and other activists whom the Taleban have reiterated they will continue to attack;
- Urgently make all the legal and policy reforms necessary to address the threats faced by activists working on Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights across Pakistan to safeguard their vital work, in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998.

Amnesty International Pakistan Researcher Mustafa Qadri said: 

“There must now be real social, political and legal reform in Pakistan to prevent what has happened to Malala being the norm for people who speak out. It is vital that people who threaten Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s rights activists are apprehended and tried in a fair procedure.

“The sad fact is that the Taleban have one plan, one method, which is violence. And it works. And will continue to work, until they are routinely brought to justice. There is a clear pattern in Pakistan- despite the courts, the police, the lawyers and prisons, perpetrators of violations rarely have their day in court

“The government have the opportunity now with this high-profile case, to mark a watershed moment by bringing the people who shot Malala to justice and ushering in a new era where the rule of the gun is no longer tolerated.

“By writing to the Prime Minister, people around the world can show their outrage at this attack and insist that in future, legal reforms, policy reforms and societal reforms mean that people who speak up for their rights, and the basic rights of others, are safeguarded.”

The petition can be signed at www.amnesty.org.uk/malala

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