Annual Report: Pakistan 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Pakistan 2013

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  • In May, local tribal elders reportedly ordered the killing of four women for at a wedding in Kohistan district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Supreme Court ordered an investigation into the incident in June and concluded that the women were probably alive. However, the Supreme Court's investigation appeared to be significantly flawed.
  • On 4 July, women's human rights activist Fareeda Afridi was killed in a drive-by shooting as she left her home in Peshawar for work in the Khyber Tribal Agency. Local civil society groups said she had been targeted for promoting the human rights of women. The authorities failed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
  • The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for attempting to assassinate 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai on 9 October. They vowed to continue to target her for promoting education for women and girls. In response, a new law was signed by the President on 20 December, guaranteeing free and compulsory education to boys and girls between the ages of five and 16.

Death penalty

More than 8,300 people remained on death row, some for 20 to 30 years, and 242 were sentenced to death during the year. In November, military authorities executed Muhammad Hussain for killing a superior officer and two others in Okara district, Punjab province, after appeals for clemency from the Army Chief and President were rejected. It was the first death sentence carried out in Pakistan since 2008. The government distanced itself from the decision to proceed with the execution, as it had been carried out by the military authorities, but activists were concerned it risked opening the door to a resumption of executions.

In July, the government began consultations on a draft parliamentary bill to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Pakistan in February/March, July/August and December. Amnesty International consultants maintained a continuous presence in the country.
  • Pakistan: Human rights and justice – the key to lasting security: Amnesty International submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review
  • (ASA 33/003/2012)
  • Open Letter: Pakistan must resolve the crisis of enforced disappearances (ASA 33/012/2012)
  • “The hands of cruelty”: Abuses by Armed Forces and Taliban in Pakistan's tribal areas (ASA 33/019/2012)