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(Washington, DC)— Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director for Amnesty International issued the following statement in response to news that Pakistan authorities ordered 1,000 extra troops into Karachi with instructions to "shoot on sight" armed men involved in the recent sectarian violence:
"By granting security forces the power to 'shoot on sight' the Pakistani government is effectively declaring Karachi a war zone.
"Given the Pakistani army's record of human rights violations and impunity, such license given to the security forces, in a volatile situation, can only be a recipe for disaster, encouraging lawlessness, further violence and killings.
"In granting these powers, the authorities contravene international human rights standards and send the message that their own security forces are above the law.
"The violence in Karachi is increasingly alarming. But Pakistan's authorities must work to restore public order, safety and trust in Karachi society by upholding human rights for all, and through proper use of the law to ensure justice and accountability for all victims of targeted violence. Adding to the violence is not a solution."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
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