Pakistan: Shooting of 14-year-old girl a 'shocking act of violence'
Amnesty International has denounced the shooting of a 14-year girl in Pakistan’s Swat valley as a “shocking act of violence”, as the Taleban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Gunmen opened fire on Malala Yousufzai and a friend as they were travelling home from school in Mingora town. She was hit by two bullets.
Early indications suggest that the attack was a targeted shooting with one local report suggesting one of the gunmen asked for her by name before opening fire.
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 in the past.
Amnesty International Pakistan Researcher Mustafa Qadri said:
“This was a shocking act of violence against a 14-year-old girl who has bravely been fighting for her right to education. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
“This attack highlights the extremely dangerous climate human rights activists face in north-western Pakistan, where particularly female activists live under constant threats from the Taleban and other militant groups.
“In the last twelve months at least two activists working on Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s education, Farida Afridi and Zarteef Afridi, were killed in a wave of targeted attacks by the Taleban and other groups in the region.
“Retaking territory from the Taleban in these areas is not a sufficient measure of success for the Pakistan authorities. Damaged education infrastructure must be rebuilt, especially girls’ schools, their rights to education guaranteed and their safety assured, and Malala must be provided with adequate protection.
“The Pakistan authorities must demonstrate by their actions that they are committed to giving Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls the same opportunities as men and boys despite threats from the Taleban and other groups.”
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