Pakistan: Attacked for Defending Human Rights

Naveed Waler, human rights defender and head of Human Rights Focus Pakistan

The head of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), and partner of GHRD, has been targeted by Pakistan for his work helping victims of religious and gender-based violence.

Naveed Walter, following his speech at the United Nations Security Council in which he denounced religious violence against minorities in Pakistan, has been pressured and threaten by the government who blame him for portraying a negative image of the country. This a recurrent theme in Pakistan; the country has taken minimal steps to address religious extremism in the region and gender-based violence, instead seeking out and attacking those who work to defend the human rights of all peoples. GHRD requests that Pakistan protects human rights defenders. Pakistan must realise their obligations under the UN General Assembly Resolutions of 1998[1] and 2016[2] which calls upon all States to take all necessary measures to ensure the rights and safety of human rights defenders.

GHRD is proud to work with such partners as Naveed in the region and will continue to fight for the rights of minorities and women in the face of this adversary, committed to promoting and protecting the fundamental rights of all.

[1] Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, UNGA Resolution 53/144 (9 December 1998)

[2] Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 24 March 2016, Protecting Human Rights Defenders, whether individuals, groups or organs of society, addressing economic, social and cultural rights, UNGA Resolution 31/31 (20 April 2016)