lunedì 15 ottobre 2012

PAKISTAN - Action for Malala Yusufzai.

The attempt on the life of 14-year Pakistani human rights activist, Malala Yusufzai, highlights the extremely dangerous climate human rights defenders face in northwest Pakistan, where female activists in particular live under constant threats from the Taliban and other armed groups. In the last
twelve months at least two activists working on women’s education, Farida Afridi and Zarteef Afridi, were killed in a wave of targeted attacks by the Taliban and other groups in the region.

Call on the Prime Minister of Pakistan to ensure that human rights defenders, particularly women activists in northwest Pakistan, receive the necessary protection to carry out their work without fear of attack.


Dear Prime Minister Raja Pervez

The shock in Pakistan and globally over the attack on Malala Yusufzai and her two classmates demonstrates that people of all walks of life and from all over the world recognise the universal right of women and girls to education and the same opportunities as men and boys.

Malala Yusufzai has campaigned for girls’ access to education in her region since she was 11 years old, and her father continues to run one of the few girls’ schools in the Swat valley despite constant threats from the Taliban. Malala’s and her family’s courage and strength are an inspiration to us all.

The attack on Malala highlights the extreme dangers faced by human rights activists in northwest Pakistan. Women’s rights activists in particular live under constant threats from the Taliban, other armed groups as well as some religious groups. We are deeply alarmed by the Taliban’s statement that Malala’s life would not be spared if she survived the attack.

The Pakistan government must also acknowledge that the threat faced by human rights defenders comes not just from the Taliban but others in the society who seek to justify their abuses as defence of religious sentiments. These elements are emboldened when the state fails to bring perpetrators of attacks on activists to justice.

We call on you to:

- Bring the perpetrators of this brutal attack, 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 Taliban 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 across Pakistan to safeguard their vital work, in accordance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998.

Targets and addresses:

His Excellency Raja Pervez Ashraf
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister House

Fax: + 92 51 9221596
E-mail: or

His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari
President of Pakistan
President's Secretariat

Fax: +92 51 9207458

Mr. Amir Haider Hoti
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Chief Minister House


da Segreariato Internazionale

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