HRW Seeks action against lawyer’s killers

Calling on the Pakistan government to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the assassination of human rights activist and lawyer Rashid Rehman, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday that those responsible should be fully and promptly prosecuted.

lawyer Rashid Rehman
Human rights activist and lawyer Rashid Rehman

It also urged the government to repeal the “blasphemy law” forthwith. In a press statement, the New York-based watchdog said that Mr Rehman’s killing, an apparent reprisal for his willingness to represent people charged under the blasphemy law, underscored the urgent need for the government to repeal the law.

“Pakistan’s vaguely worded blasphemy law has led to discrimination, persecution, and murder since its imposition almost three decades ago. It should be reformed or repealed immediately,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It is appalling that lawyers who defend the rights of people charged with blasphemy should themselves become the targets of deadly violence,” it said. -dawn