Protection of Lawyers | 24.01.2020

10th Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Focus on Pakistan

“In Pakistan, defending blasphemy accusations is the most dangerous branch of advocacy. Because of my work in controversial cases of blasphemy, I am the prime target of Pakistani Islamists. The world needs to look after me about my security. Otherwise in the future, other lawyers will not come forward for such cases”.
Saif ul Malook, Pakistani Lawyer

On January 24, the 10th Day of the Endangered Lawyer is dedicated to lawyers in Pakistan.

UIA invites you today to learn more about the situation of our Pakistani colleagues and raise your voice to support their right to practice their profession freely and without fear!

Over the past decades, lawyers in Pakistan have been subjected to acts of mass terrorism, murder, attempted murder, assaults, (death) threats, contempt proceedings, harassment and intimidation, as well as judicial harassment and torture in detention, merely for engaging in their professional duties as lawyers. Their families also have been targeted, and some have even been murdered. Some lawyers have also been threatened with disbarment and/or had their homes and offices raided by the police.

The most notorious attack on lawyers in Pakistan occurred on August 8, 2016, when terrorists attacked the Government Hospital of Quetta with a suicide bombing and shooting which resulted in the death of 56 lawyers and injury of 92 others.

The situation of Christian lawyers or members of minority Muslim groups is also of great concern. In some cases, lawyers have been killed for belonging to the Shi’ite religion that is the Muslim minority in Pakistan. In many cases, lawyers have been identified with their clients and their clients’ causes, and therefore violently attacked. This is particularly the case in relation to accusations of blasphemy that commonly exposes the accused, as well as lawyers who represent them and judges who adjudicate their cases, to harassment, threats, physical attacks and rioting. Since 1990, 62 people have been murdered following blasphemy allegations. 

In response to all these repeated attacks, Pakistani lawyers frequently strike, demonstrate, protest and hold boycotts.

Support the Day of the Endangered Lawyer!

UIA joined the more than 30 organisations who signed a joint petition calling for extensive actions to protect our Pakistani colleagues.

Join the hundreds of lawyers who will be expressing their support all over the world to our endangered colleagues in in Pakistan! Join this international mobilization!

#Dayoftheendangeredlawyer #Pakistan

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