Pakistan: Authorities must protect rights of all

May. 19, 2007

Following violent unrest in Karachi last weekend in which over 40 people were killed, and continuing tensions nationwide over the suspension in March of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Amnesty International is urging the Pakistani authorities to vigorously exercise its duty to protect the rights of all.

Those seeking to exercise their rights of peaceful assembly and expression must be protected from attack by political and other opponents, and also be secure from excessive use of force by security personnel in the name of maintaining public order.

In the present climate of political tension in Pakistan, it is important that civil society be allowed peaceful assembly and expression without the fear or threat of violence. The Pakistani authorities must take urgent action against targeted attacks by competing groups, or incidents of brutality by security force personnel, if the risk of further political violence is to be avoided.

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