Press Release, March 13
Lahore: The situation of human rights and of human rights defenders in Pakistan has seriously deteriorated over the past year, according to the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
FIDH said this in a communiqué following a recent fact-finding mission in Pakistan in collaboration with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (Feb 24-Mar 3) to assess the situation of human rights and of human rights defenders in the country.
FIDH said that among the most flagrant human rights violations that the mission documented were “enforced “disappearances”, generalised attacks against civilian population during popular gatherings, or during military operations, repression of movements seeking recognition of their identity, in particular in Balochistan, deterioration of the condition of women, discrimination against religious minorities, restrictions to the freedom of the media, persecution, summary and arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders”.
FIDH faulted US interference in Pakistan for the deterioration. “Many of those attacks are committed under the guise of the fight against terrorism, with the active support of the United States. The interference of this foreign power in Pakistan contributes in a significant way to the deterioration of human rights in the region.”
The mission called for an immediate release of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and his family; reinstatement of deposed judges; respect for the physical and psychological integrity of all Pakistani human rights defenders; and respect for the independence of the judiciary.
The mission called upon the political parties emerging as significant players after the February 18 elections to work for the rule of law in Pakistan, through human rights protection, non-discrimination, notably based on gender or the religion and freedom of expression.