Pakistan government urged to halt sectarian violence

[JURIST] A group of three UN human rights experts on Friday implored Pakistan to increase efforts to curb growing sectarian violence [official statement]. Noting a recent uptick in sectarian related attacks, the group of experts warned that "sectarian violence threatens to worsen if the Government does not respond swiftly and decisively to confront it." Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website], Rita Izsak [official profile], an independent expert on minority issues claimed:

[These attacks] have sadly become a recurrent practice in Pakistan, and we urge the Pakistan Government to identify and prosecute the perpetrators and do everything possible to establish strengthened security measures.
Heiner Bielefeldt [official profile, PDF], professor of human rights at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, said "these targeted killings once more display the appalling degree of religious hatred in a country where there seems to be a failure to protect the security of religious minorities."

Pakistan has seen a rash of bloody attacks [The Nation report] in recent weeks that were sectarian in nature. Last week at least 18 Shia Muslims were killed [BBC report] after their train was stopped and those on board were separated by sect. Earlier in February a suicide bomber killed 41 people [International News report] when he detonated a bomb outside a Shia mosque.

 

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